Callum McGregor has backed his managers' calls to delay Celtic vs Rangers clashes next season to accommodate supporters inside Parkhead and Ibrox.

Neil Lennon recently suggested that he expects the SPFL to push Old Firm derbies towards the second half of the campaign in a bid to give fans the best chance of attending the games. It comes as the new term is scheduled to kick-off behind closed doors with fans being offered 'virtual season tickets' as opposed to the real deal.

Any ordinary Premiership fixture list would see at least one Glasgow derby match be played without fans inside the ground, but Lennon reckons the governing body would prefer to avoid that scenario. And Hoops midfielder McGregor shares the same opinions and admits he'd much rather have the stadium 'rocking' with fans inside - and that it would make sense as they aim to promote the most positive version of Scotland's top flight.

"In Scotland, the Celtic – Rangers fixtures are the go to games," McGregor said. "It’s what promotes the product. In England, people want to tune in and watch these games. It would be fantastic to get a full stadium for them or as close to that as possible.

"It would certainly make sense if they could put them back so we could have the best chance of getting a full stadium. It’s something you would welcome. It would be worth the wait. It’s the atmosphere that makes them special.

"When you play in them, the stadiums are rocking. That’s what you want to play in – the high pressure games. If it meant there were a few games in the space of a few weeks the it would be great spectacle for people watching them as well. It could make sense if that’s the route that they go down."

Celtic have been back in training for almost a week, now, and McGregor has been delighted to be back on the pitch with a football at his feet. The coronavirus pandemic halted the sporting world and players have been forced to maintain their fitness levels on their own time. The structure to their working lives had changed.

Now, though, a new normal has presented itself somewhat to the players. Social distancing remains in place at Lennoxtown, stars have been warned to stay out of the building. But McGregor doesn't mind too much. "It’s been great being back in and getting that routine of being back on the grass back.

"I’d not seen some of the lads for a while so it’s been great to see them. It’s been nice to get that sense of being back at it. Obviously there are some restrictions in place. You are still pretty much training on your own – doing your own running with your ball.

"But at least it’s a step in the right direction towards getting football back which is what everyone wants. The protocols that are in place mean the building is closed. So you get ready in the house, drive to training, put your boots on and go onto the pitch. When you are done it’s pretty much the same – change out of your boots, back into the car and back home.

"The protocols are in place to try and keep everyone as safe as possible. Hopefully in the coming weeks, we can start to ramp that up, as long as everything is done safely."

In unprecedented circumstances, Celtic as well as other clubs around the country, have dealt with plenty of issues they would not usually have to put up with. But for all the negatives and the difficulties, Champions League qualifiers will not hit the players as early as normal this coming season.

Perhaps, McGregor suggests, giving the players a good chance to reintegrate themselves back to work more softly than usual. "It’s been an extended break and a lot of our boys will not be used to that," he added. "So it will probably take a little bit longer to get back up to match sharpness or anything like it.

"The break has been forced on us but we now have a long enough period to make sure everybody’s body is right. It means we can slowly progress rather than coming back and knowing your first Champions League game is in two and half weeks and you may have to take some risks with some of the players.

"Hopefully this time around, everyone will have an eight, nine, 10 week lead in to the games starting. We can progress that gradually and come august we should be in a good place to be ready to go."