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Mackay-Steven comments on mood among players as Celtic squad returns for pre-season

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Celtic star Gary Mackay-Steven is happy with the mood of the camp ahead of the club's new season.

Celtic midfielder Gary Mackay-Steven explained in The Herald that the mood is good among the squad, following the players returning for pre-season training.

Preparations are underway at the Bhoys as they prepare for a campaign of fighting on multiple fronts and looking to build on the success, which Ronny Deila secured during his first season in charge at the club.

The first challenge for the team will be taking on Stjarnan in the Champions League qualifiers and Mackay-Steven is confident of success.

“The boys have just come back but we can't wait for the games to start. This is why I'm so happy to be here, for the big games. You've just got to enjoy them,” he told The Herald.

“It won't be easy but we will prepare right and treat it like any other game. We'll be ready.”

Points to prove

Deila will feel as though his Celtic team have a number of points to prove as they look to develop further from the side which finished last season.

The Norwegian failed to guide his team into the group stages of the Champions League last season, which is the first wrong he will be looking to correct.

He’ll be drilling the urgency into his players, as he looks for them to destroy Stjarnan as they take their place in the group stage of the competition.

He’ll also be looking for the team to prove a point in the Scottish Cup considering the controversial circumstances, which led to the club’s exit at the hands of Inverness last time round.

Issues to be addressed

Deila’s focus may be on getting the team prepared for the start of the season, but he also needs to keep one eye on the transfer market.

He needs to ensure that central defender Virgil van Dijk has the right mentality of he stays at the club and he also needs to work hard in terms of improving key areas of the team.

That won’t be easy or simple considering the magnitude and profile that Celtic represent, especially on the domestic scene.

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