“You can only avoid it if you lock yourself in the house,” Charlie Mulgrew

Charlie Mulgrew knows all too well what it’s like playing for a big football club. But when that football club is Celtic, then the stakes are immeasurable at times for the players.

The former Hoops defender was helping promote this weekend’s Scottish Cup Semi-final at Hampden Park, where Celtic will face Aberdeen on Saturday, then our city rivals for the Scottish Premiership will play Hearts the day after.

It will just be another day at the office for manager Brendan Rodgers, who emphatically declared that “this is when Celtic comes alive”, in the aftermath of our 3-0 victory over St Mirren this past Saturday. The Irishman has been over the course and did this sort of thing on many occasions, with Rodgers the man who started the domestic clean sweeps which we have become so accustomed to over the last few years.

Having been paired with Aberdeen a fair few times now in the domestic cup competitions at the national stadium, the former Liverpool boss knows what it takes to get the job done and that is just what Mulgrew expects to happen when we clash with the Dons this weekend.

“If I had to bet on it, I’d go Celtic and theRangers but both of them need to navigate their way through,” as reported by Daily Record. “They are playing against two teams that are desperate to get there as well and to win some silverware as well. If they can get to a final and have that chance to do that they’re going to be up for it.

“Sometimes when you are playing against an underdog, it’s hard because all the expectation is on Celtic and theRangers. My prediction would be a Celtic v theRangers final but it will be difficult.”

Celtic v St Mirren – Reo Hatate right celebrates after scoring his sides first goal of the game during the Premiership match at Celtic Park, on Saturday April 13, 2024. Photo Jane Barlow

This potential explosion of the big two is something that everyone is relishing and Mulgrew revealed that it will boil down to who can handle that heat of the race the most. “I tried to avoid it as a player but you just feel it,” he said. “In Glasgow, it’s unique. You can go to the shop and somebody will say, ‘What happened on Saturday?’ and you just instantly get a feeling of how people are feeling. You get a sense of it just from the tone of their voice. You know.”

Josh Sims of Ross County celebrates with team mates Jack Baldwin and Simon Murray of Ross County after scoring to give Ross County a 3-1 lead. Photo Stuart Wallace/Shutterstock

He added: “It’s the opposite if you win a game and even if the other team loses, you bump into fans of your own club and they are high as a kite. Suddenly, you feel like everything has turned. Everywhere you go, you get a feeling of how things are. You can only avoid it if you lock yourself in the house. Some players will look at social media, others won’t. Some players will read papers, others won’t. Everybody’s different but you find your own way to cope.”

James Tavernier is disappointed at full time after the Scottish Premiership match between Dundee and theRangers at Dens Park  on April 17, 2024. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Paul Gillespie

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I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

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