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Celtic have got the heart for battle, says Mark Wilson

Celtic defender Mark Wilson has refuted the notion that Neil Lennon's team are big-game bottlers.

Lennon took over from Tony Mowbray in March with Rangers on their way to their second successive SPL title.

And although the Parkhead side finished the season with eight straight SPL wins, they were knocked out of the Active Nation Scottish Cup by First Division Ross County.

Celtic were dumped out of the Champions League and Europa League qualifiers at the start of this season before going on another eight-game winning run in the SPL — only to lose at home in the top-of-the-table clash with Old Firm rivals Rangers on Sunday.

However, Wilson, 26, does not buy in to the idea that the Hoops do not have the players for the big occasion.

“I don't believe that,” the former Dundee United skipper said. “We have players who have played in the World Cup and Champions League and won league championships.

“It's not come together the way we have liked in the previous big games but there are plenty big games to come and I'm sure in those games we will show how good we are.”

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Wilson joined his boyhood heroes in January 2006, when Gordon Strachan was boss, and he suffered like many Celtic fans during Mowbray's ill-fated spell as manager.

The full-back claims the Celtic dressing room is as united as it has ever been.

“I don't want to slag anyone off but in the last few (years), the atmosphere wasn't the same. It was a bit down in the dressing room and some of the players didn't connect,” he said.

“This backroom has brought in players and staff that really do connect. Last year we were a bit disjointed and certain people didn't mix with other people and it definitely showed on the pitch.

“This year is a lot different and the boys are friends first and foremost, before team-mates.”


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