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Charlie Mulgrew: I experienced ‘horrible’ spells when things were bad for Celtic

Soccer – Scottish Cup Final – Motherwell v Celtic – Hampden Park
(Image credit: Lynne Cameron)

Charlie Mulgrew experienced all-consuming “horrible” spells when things were going badly on the pitch for Celtic.

There were times when Mulgrew did not want to leave his house because of criticism.

But the Scotland international understood it was part of the job and focused on getting back to earning the adulation that comes with winning trophies.

Mulgrew believes Celtic will quickly pull through their three-game run without a victory because of the resilience that Neil Lennon and his players have displayed in the past.

Previewing Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final between his former clubs, Celtic and Aberdeen, Mulgrew said: “When you play for Celtic and Rangers, that’s a major part of the job. You take the praise, you take the stick.

“It’s probably the toughest place in Britain to play with the scrutiny when you lose a game, draw a game and things aren’t going well. But you get praise when you are winning games and winning leagues, winning trebles.

“I have been there, it’s tough. It doesn’t make it any easier but it’s the way it is up there.

“I feel for Neil Lennon, I feel for the team because I have been there before myself and it really is horrible. Every minute of the day it’s the only thing on your mind, you don’t want to leave your house.

“It’s horrible but it’s one you bounce back from and put it right yourself because it’s part of the job.

“You’ve got two options: you can just buckle under or you can face it up and go into the next game and try and win it.

“Nobody gives you a manual on how to be resilient, you learn resilience through experience and from being resilient in your life.

“When you’re at Celtic and going through a spell like this, you need to stand up and be counted because that’s why you’re a Celtic player, that’s what makes you a Celtic player.

“You don’t win a treble treble by hiding away from challenges. Celtic will come out the other end of this, no doubt.”

Lennon described the reaction as “hysteria” after his under-strength side lost to Rangers and AC Milan, before they went on to draw with Aberdeen.

And Mulgrew believes Celtic’s quest for an unprecedented 10 consecutive titles is fuelling an even greater pressure.

The Blackburn defender, who is now on loan at Fleetwood, said: “Down here you don’t feel the intensity or pressure that the fans and the players and coaching staff will be feeling living in Glasgow. Everyone you bump into speaks to you about it.

“There will be so much pressure on the players and coaches, I can only imagine.

“I have felt pressure up there but to expect 10 in a row for the first time ever, there must be some amount of pressure and it must be difficult to deal with at times for the players.

“But as a Celtic player, it’s the pressure you want. They have earned the right to have that pressure. It’s a privilege in a way to win a treble treble and go for 10 in a row. You have created it yourself and it’s a positive type of pressure.

“You need to focus on what can be done and what has been done. You have to think of the positives and what’s at stake rather than (think) ‘if it doesn’t happen it will be a failure’, because they will be far from a failure.

“It is still unbelievable stuff they have done for the club.”

:: Charlie Mulgrew was speaking at a William Hill media event. William Hill is the proud sponsor of the Scottish Cup.