Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Lennon thrilled by Mulgrew magic

Celtic 2 Aberdeen 1: Neil Lennon praised Charlie Mulgrew after the stand-in captain came to the rescue of Celtic against Aberdeen at Parkhead.

Mulgrew's winning goal kept Celtic 10 points behind leaders Rangers at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and was warmly welcomed by manager Lennon who had seen his team's early lead wiped out.

Midfielder Ki Sung-yueng put the Hoops ahead in the 17th minute but defender Ryan Jack levelled for Aberdeen on the hour.

However, with nerves jangling, former Dons defender Mulgrew drove high into the net from close range in the 72nd minute to restore the lead and confirm himself as a key part of Lennon's side.

Mulgrew, who came through the youth ranks at Parkhead before spells at Wolves and Aberdeen, levelled in last week's 3-3 draw at Kilmarnock — albeit it after gifting Killie a goal — and set up Joe Ledley for the equaliser in the 1-1 Europa League draw against Rennes in France on Thursday night.

The Celtic boss, who revealed Glenn Loovens and Mo Bangura will have scans tomorrow on their respective hamstring and knee injuries, acknowledged the upturn in Mulgrew's career.

“Charlie scored with his right foot so he has had a good week,” Lennon said.

“He scored last week and set the goal up in midweek and scored again today.

“He has been really consistent for us this season and I am delighted for him — I think it is the first time he has captained a winning Celtic team.

“He made a mistake last week and corrected it with the third goal.

“He has played brilliantly for the majority of the season and came up for the winner today.

“His improvement since he came back here has been huge.

“It is a credit to him that he went away down south to forge his career and didn't give up on it and now he is captaining Celtic which is a great achievement for him.”

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