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Mulgrew struggles to fight Celtic hangover

Charlie Mulgrew admits he was “devastated” by Sunday's Co-operative Insurance Cup final defeat to Rangers at Hampden which ended Celtic's hopes of a domestic treble.

The Parkhead side, top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup, were favourites to pick up the first piece of silverware of the season against a side who had not beaten them in their four previous meetings.

However, in an enthralling afternoon Steven Davis’ opener was cancelled out by Joe Ledley before Nikica Jelavic's extra-time winner took the trophy back to Ibrox.

Mulgrew is further frustrated that the chance to make amends will not come until after the international break.

“It is devastating but we have to pick ourselves up as quickly as we can and get back to winning ways,” the former Aberdeen player said. “I don't think it changes things with regards the league. They have won the first cup but there is plenty still to play for. We have to pick ourselves up.

“We would like a game straight away and it's disappointing that the international game has come.

“When everyone comes back from that we will look forward to the next game and if we can get a win we can kick on hopefully.”

Mulgrew denied over-confidence had been a problem for the Parkhead side.

“I don't think you can say that,” he said. “If Gary Hooper had finished that chance at the end and we had won on penalties I don't think you would be asking that question.

“It could have went either way but unfortunately it went for Rangers. It was a good game. I don't think we deserved to lose and I don't think we deserved to win but we are disappointed.”

Celtic ended the game with 10 men after Emilio Izaguirre was sent off in the dying seconds for a challenge on Rangers substitute Vladimir Weiss.

With keeper Fraser Forster up in the Rangers box for a Celtic corner, referee Craig Thomson deemed that the Parkhead left-back had prevented a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Mulgrew denied he was fortunate not to have been sent off earlier in the match for a similar offence after conceding a 'last-man' foul on Jelavic at the edge of the box. The Hoops defender insists he should not have even seen yellow.

“At that point in the game we were a bit stretched,” he said. “But I don't think it was a foul to be honest with you. If you see it again, I don't think it was.”

Belfast Telegraph


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