Wilson right back in frame to perform major role for Celtic
Aberdeen 1 Celtic 4: Mark Wilson is hoping his performance in Celtic's Co-operative Insurance Cup semi-final defeat of Aberdeen at Hampden was enough to confirm him as the man in possession of the right-back berth at Parkhead.
The former Dundee United skipper has had a difficult time with injuries since signing for the Hoops in 2006 but was given his chance again when South Korean team-mate Cha Du-Ri left for Asian Cup duty earlier in month.
Cha, along with Ki Sung-yueng, is due back at Celtic Park this week but Wilson, one of many star performers in the 4-1 win over the Dons, is hoping boss Neil Lennon retains faith in him.
“There is strong competition for places and Cha was obviously in and doing well,” the 26-year-old said last night.
“He is coming back so it's important that I keep playing the way I'm playing and give the manager something to think about.
“I had to take my chance when he went away and hopefully I have done that and hopefully I can continue in the team.
“It will be a welcome sight to see Cha back because there are a lot of important games and not the same team will start every game so the more players the better.
“But I'm enjoying getting a game every week.
“You need to take that chance when you get it at Celtic and we are on a good run at the moment.
“It's good to be part of a back four which is pretty solid, although we lost a goal to Aberdeen which as disappointing.”
Amid the first-half demolition Wilson had the chance to score his first Celtic goal following another lung-bursting run down the right but unfortunately for him blazed over the bar.
“Five years and no goals — I can't believe that,” joked the former Scotland Under-21 player.
“How many did I score at United? It was something like eight or nine but I just can't seem to get a goal here.
“It was a good move and it summed up the first-half performance.
“I thought we were excellent, we cut them open at times and it could have been more.
“It was hard to replicate that in the second half but it was a fantastic result.
“I would hate to say we are hitting top form at the right time and then slip up on Tuesday night when we play Aberdeen again in the league but you can only go on the last games and we have been terrific in the last few weeks.
“Hopefully we can keep it going.
“It's asking a lot but to be champions but that's what you've got to do.”
Wilson's versatility may be called upon at Pittodrie in midweek.
When Thomas Rogne, the only centre-half available to Lennon at the moment, went off with a calf concern in the second half at Hampden Wilson was moved inside to partner Charlie Mulgrew, who is normally a left-back.
Rogne is hoping to be fit for the trip north and will be assessed today.
The 20-year-old says: “We will see how it settles.”