OFTEN in times of turmoil and crisis, fear can take a firm hold. Driving you to distraction and despair.

It is a notion that even with a sense of perspective gained over the passing year, Callum McGregor's gut can testify to as the young Celtic midfielder saw his dreams potentially taken away from him. The worst thing about it? He knew it was his mistake that would be responsible.

Almost 12 months ago McGregor's life would change. In the early hours of February 5 in the Robroyston area of Glasgow, he was caught behind the wheel almost four times the limit. Just 22 at the time, McGregor was later banned from driving for a year at Glasgow Sheriff Court as a result of the incident. To make matters worse, the incident took place just six months after he received a four-month ban for speeding.

Despite these indiscretions, the severity of the situation was not lost on him, a young lad that has always comes across mature and appreciative of the life he know leads playing for the club he idolised as a young boy.

It was a dark period for the promising star who had burst on to the scene a season earlier, earning a bumper five-year contract in August 2014. Reflecting on the whole saga and how he worried for his future, McGregor said: “I think obviously there was that sort of feeling about it.

“You don’t know how anybody’s going to take it in that way but it’s finished now so that’s it and we just move on from that.

“You have good people, your family, around about you. Obviously I did wrong and it was about trying to stabilise myself and really focus on my football. I think I did that and I think it proved to be beneficial off the pitch and on the pitch.

“Life is always about experiences and you have to learn as well. It was important for me to try and knuckle down and focus on my job and play football. It was a bad mistake. You have to learn from it. Now it’s positive on the other side of things, I’ve learned a lot. I’m just trying to take that on really.”

It was a cross roads in the career of one of the brightest talents to come through the Celtic academy in recent years, however he has responded and repaid the loyalty shown to him by the club.

Then manager Ronny Deila initially dropped his player for the Scottish Cup game with East Kilbride at Airdrie. Not as a punishment, but to protect the youngster as the attention fell on him in a whole new way. "There has been a lot of pressure on him in the last days and he was not ready for playing the game today," said the Norwegian at the time. "I can say that we don't like this, this is something we have to react to. But at the same time, this is not in our hands, it is now with the police."

McGregor did not play for Celtic again until his sentencing a month later. From then, he began to force himself back into the headlines for all the right reasons, totting up 11 appearances and scoring in his first two games back.

Since then, he has continued to triumph over adversity to become one of manager Brendan Rodgers’ go-to players in midfield. His work rate and high-energy thrusting him into the Celtic boss’ pressing game style along with the likes of Stuart Armstrong.

“It is kind of like that [all the publicity] but we’ve got to take the positives and the negatives the same way. I’ve learned from it and that’s it. It’s done now," he added.

"It’s been a big year in terms of everything off the pitch and on the pitch, a big learning experience. I am happy the way it has kicked on. For me it’s about refocussing and taking that into the second half of the season.”

One of the biggest compliments you can give the Glasgow man is that in a Celtic juggernaut steaming ahead of everyone else domestically, he does not look out of place compared to the big summer signings that have helped propel the Ladbrokes Premiership champions on. Twenty five times he has featured this season and he was one of the men of the match in the recent win over Rangers on Hogmanay as he fought tirelessly in the heart of the Celtic midfield.

The arrival of Kouassi Eboue from Krasnodar may present a fresh obstacle to McGregor as Rodgers will face shuffling his midfield pack to make room for the young Ivorian teenager. Yet, there is no fear in the pit of McGregor's stomach this year like there was the last, just an excitement of the challenge his latest obstacle will bring.

"We’ve always looked at midfielders and brought them in over the last few years so it’s good for me," he said, speaking from the club's hotel in Dubai. "It’s a good challenge for me, it’s a good challenge for the rest of the boys as well to keep our place in the team. Signings bring that competition and enhance the group so I think everyone looks forward to it.

"You’re at a big club and that always happens, everyone is always looking to move forward and bring in new signings all the time. I’ve faced that challenge in the past and come through it as well so I’m looking forward to it, it’s something that I’ll relish.”