Callum McGregor isn’t normally the superstitious type. He doesn't wear lucky pants, for instance, or have to put a particular sock on before he puts on the other. His trust lies in the process, not the paranormal.

Still, as it is mentioned to the Celtic captain that his remarkable cup final record is still intact heading into today’s Scottish Cup showdown with Rangers at Hampden, he visibly recoils.

“Don’t say it!” McGregor scalded.

But it would be remiss not to. In senior finals at Hampden, McGregor has won 12 from 12 – seven League Cups and five Scottish Cups. If you take it back even further, he won four Youth Cup finals at the national stadium between 2010 and 2013.

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So, while he might not believe in lucky charms, he has given Hoopy the Huddle Hound a run for his money as a Celtic mascot when it comes to the big occasion. And he doesn’t intend to let that flawless run slip this afternoon.

“Listen, I know it’s going to come to an end at some point,” he said.

“We set out the targets at the start of the season, and I like to think of myself as someone who wants to win everything that they go into.

“When I get up in the morning, I want to be going back to bed a winner, you want to have that winning feeling.

“That’s just the way I’ve tried to approach my whole career, and so far, it has stood me in good stead.

“I don’t want to jinx it, I’ll be preparing the same way that I always do, and hopefully when the moment comes, we’ll grab it, and we will be successful.”

There is indeed nothing surreptitious about McGregor’s success. It comes from the marriage of ability and drive that has characterised his career, and that has marked him out as the standard bearer for the club since Scott Brown’s departure.

The appetite for silverware remains undiminished, even after adding the 21st trophy of his Celtic collection to his personal cabinet by winning this season’s Premiership title, and that is what he believes has marked Celtic out from their competitors over this decade of domestic dominance. Winning has almost become muscle memory.

“I think you have to be like that, and especially with the club that we are at, it demands success,” he said.

“It’s always a moving target. You have to keep moving, if you don’t and you stand still, someone will come and take it from you. People are always pushing you for your position and all of these things.

“I think in elite sport you have always got to be looking for the next challenge, and pretty much five minutes after lifting the trophy on Saturday all I could think about was this game.

“But I think that’s good, I think that has stood me in good stead. I’ve still got that hunger to continue to win, and everything that is in front of me, I want to win it.

“It’s been a great period of success. Just personally being involved in that, then it gives you a great grounding and a great standing in the game and understanding of what it takes to be successful. And what you have to give to the game to be successful.

“So, that process was probably already in place by the time I got there. You’re just learning, you’re trying to pick up things from everybody. You obviously also draw on your own experience.

“The four trebles that we did, how to manage pressure in situations and things like that.”

These experiences are great to fall back on, of course, but McGregor also knows that nothing can be taken for granted against a wounded Rangers outfit, both in terms of the injury list they are carrying and the psychological blow they suffered in losing out in the title race.

They will be coming to Hampden with a hunger to salvage what they can from the season and bring Celtic down a peg or two in the process, and McGregor says that he and his teammates need to match Rangers for desire first and foremost, before their greater quality should see them prevail.

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“All of that is great, and great to have that experience, but we know come Saturday when the game kicks off it won’t count for much,” he said.

“Then what you do in the game on that day, how we prepare, what we give to the game, that’s what will ultimately decide the outcome.

“Yes, we have a good template to work from – but we know come Saturday that we have to be on the money, and we’ve got to perform.

“We’ve been in good form, but we all know in cup finals the form table doesn’t really matter. It’s about turning up on the day and doing all the right things. Winning your duels, all the different bits of the game you need to do, and obviously in cup finals you also have to have a bit of luck as well.

“We’re preparing as best we can. Everybody’s in good spirits, the team’s playing well and of course we arrive into it with confidence. But we understand there’s a lot of work that needs to be done and a lot of things to go well for us on Saturday.

“We are as prepared and in as good a place as we can be. You take all of that into consideration, the experience in the group, the way we’re playing, the feel-good factor, so we’re as best placed as what we can be.

“It’s then about just turning up, making sure we turn up on the day and we give the absolute maximum that we can.

“I think we know if we do that then we give ourselves a good chance of winning the game.”