Celtic out to reward their Australian fans

Celtic captain Callum McGregor says the Scottish champions' Sydney Cup challenge is the perfect opportunity to reward their loyal Australian fan base.

Ange Postecoglou's side will face Sydney FC on Thursday and Everton on Sunday as they use the start of the World Cup break to keep themselves sharp for challenges down the line.

But they're also keen to let their many fans in Australia enjoy a rare chance to watch them in action.

"It's still a really important period for the team," said McGregor, whose side will face Aberdeen away on December 17 when they return to Scottish Premiership action after the World Cup break.

"It's important to come and see the fans over in Australia. We have that responsibility to come and see the supporters. We've bumped into a few of them.

"These guys get up in the middle of the night to watch the games and this is an opportunity to see us live, and it's important we don't disappoint.

"We need to show them the best of ourselves and put on a good show for them.

"We're here to do that, but at the same time we're here to work and continue the fitness.

"We've got a four-week break before the league starts up again, but it's important to maintain the standards in the way we want to train and play."

McGregor expects manager Postecoglou, who used to manage the Australia national team, to demand high performance levels on his return to his homeland.

"I'm sure the gaffer will be keen for us to put on a good show coming back to his home country," he said.

"He will be putting pressure on the lads to make sure they are performing well.

"We want good football, good intensity and we want to have two victories as well."

Midfielder McGregor himself is stepping up his bid to return from injury, having been sidelined since sustaining a knee injury in the Champions League match away to RB Leipzig at the start of October.

However, he was pictured running with his teammates on Wednesday after they arrived in Australia.

"Hopefully I will be joining bits of the sessions this week and just progressing the rehab," McGregor told Celtic TV prior to the first training session.

"It will be an important five, six days for me. I am looking forward to getting back on the grass with the boys."