'There's more to come': Callum McGregor fires ominous warning to rivals as Celtic crowned champions

'There's more to come': Callum McGregor fires ominous warning to rivals as Celtic crowned champions

CELTIC captain Callum McGregor has warned there is more to come from the side after they clinched a second consecutive league title at Tynecastle.

The Hoops weren't at their best against Hearts but the dismissal of Alex Cochrane just before half-time gave the visitors the advantage as they went on to seal a 2-0 victory.

The win sees Celtic seal a fourth trophy under manager Ange Postecoglou having retained the League Cup in February, while they remain on course for a treble with a Scottish Cup Final on the horizon.

Celtic captain Callum McGregor celebrates with the fans after sealing a 53rd Scottish league title (Image: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The victory in Edinburgh not only secured the title, but saw the Hoops surpass last season's title-winning points total with four games remaining.

Victory in their remaining league games would also see Celtic set a new club record for most points in a season after accumulating 106 under Brendan Rodgers in 2016/17.

Ominously for Celtic's rivals, McGregor says he expects the club to continue on the same trajectory and improve even more next term.

'Better than last season'

"I'm so proud of this group of players, so proud of the club," he told Celtic TV.

"The task at the start of every season is to win the league and I think we've done it in better fashion than we did last season, which tells you a lot.

"I think there's still more to come from this group so that's the beauty of it, we just keep working, we keep going,"

Celtic fans gather at Celtic Park after the Hoops sealed the title with victory at Tynecastle (Image: Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

McGregor's words were echoed by manager Postecoglou, who said the players' thirst for success and improvement has never wavered.

"It's a credit to every one of them that they've really embraced the challenge of being a better side than they were last year and fittingly they get the rewards for it," he told Celtic TV.

"When you've had success, sometimes you wonder whether people have the same drive and will they be prepared to work as hard the following year.

Kyogo Furuhashi diverts the ball past Zander Clark for Celtic’s opener (Image: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

"I've never sensed that in this group.

"From the first day of preseason, they've embraced that we needed to be better this year, we needed to be stronger, and that's what they've done.

"They've maintained a ridiculous standard of performance through a really challenging year with the Champions League and the World Cup break and through it all they've been unflinching in terms of their approach to the game."

Hearts threaten to frustrate Hoops

Celtic were made to work for their title-clinching victory, with Hearts the better side in a first half short on quality, during which they were unable to capitalise on a succession of corners.

Neither side managed a shot on target inside the first hour, with Hearts' Kye Rowles and Celtic midfielder Reo Hatate going closest in the first half with powerful, long-range drives that went just wide.

However, a red card for Alex Cochrane — upgraded from a yellow after a VAR review — for bringing down Daizen Maeda on the edge of the box saw the advantage swing Celtic's way.

Anthony Ralston turned the resulting free kick into the next only to see it ruled offside.

Hearts continued to press after the break despite their numerical disadvantage but Celtic turned the screw and got their opener after 67 minutes.

McGregor picked out Hatate as he found space in the Hearts backline and his cross was bundled into the net by compatriot Kyogo Furuhashi for his 24th league goal of the season.

Substitutes Aaron Mooy and Hyeongyu Oh combined to seal Celtic's second goal and second consecutive title as the South Korean diverted past Zander Clark with 10 minutes remaining.

The victory means Celtic have won 10 of the last 11 titles, while their League Cup success earlier in the season was their seventh in nine seasons.

Celtic can seal a record eighth Scottish domestic treble if they can overcome Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish Cup Final on June 3.

The Hoops last won the trophy in the 2019/20 season.