KR Reykjavik vs Celtic: Callum McGregor targeting first-team place after giving Celtic winning start in Champions League second round qualifier

McGregor scored on his debut to give new manager Ronny Deila a winning start to his tenure at Celtic

Celtic's Champions League qualifying goal hero Callum McGregor is looking for a regular first-team place at Parkhead this season.

In Ronny Deila's first competitive game since taking over from Neil Lennon last month, the Norwegian sprang something of a surprise when he handed the 21-year-old midfielder his competitive debut in the second qualifying round first leg against KR Reykjavik in Iceland.

But the Scotland Under-21 player, who spent a productive spell on loan at Notts County last season and impressed in pre-season friendlies, was to prove the difference.

In a frustrating night for the Scottish champions, Kris Commons, Leigh Griffiths and substitute Teemu Pukki all hit woodwork before 21-year-old McGregor drilled a shot low past home keeper Stefan Magnusson with seven minutes remaining to secure a 1-0 advantage for the return leg.

Match report: KR Reykjavik 0 Celtic 1

Now McGregor wants to keep his place.

He said: "I spent last season with Notts County in League One and I feel I have come back a better player. I feel that I am mentally ready to make the challenge.

"When you come back here you don't want to leave. Being at Celtic means the world to me so if I can be here for a long time I will be delighted.

"Once I come in on Thursday I will get my head down and get working and strive to be better every day.

"But to score in the Champions League for Celtic - I have been there since I was nine years old - was a dream come true.

"It was a little bit of relief with it being 0-0 but I was absolutely delighted.

"It was a big night for the club, to strive to get Champions League football again, and that might be the goal that takes us through to the next round so I am absolutely delighted."

On McGregor's performance, Deila said: "I think he did well on his debut.

"He has big talent but I want him to be more direct, go forward more and link up more with the full-back, but that will come and I am very happy for him that he scored a goal."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?