Former Celtic centre-back Charlie Mulgrew has opened up on Neil Lennon’s fury when playing Rangers.
The former Aberdeen man played under the interim Celtic boss for several years. Lennon signed Mulgrew from the Dons back in 2010, and Mulgrew enjoyed a fine six years at Parkhead before departing for England.
Now plying his trade at Blackburn Rovers, Mulgrew is simply another one of us as a supporter. But he has plenty of experience of dealing with Lennon on derby days in Glasgow.
Celtic take the trip to Ibrox to face a rejuvenated Rangers side this Sunday. Three points and it would send a massive statement out to their rivals ahead of next season. A defeat, however, and Rangers will go into next season full of confidence that they’re the better side, regardless of the fact they lost the league comfortably.
But speaking in the Daily Record, Mulgrew touched on how much the derby means to his old gaffer, highlighting a game between the sides back in 2012.
“People said it mattered more to Rangers as they didn’t want to see Celtic celebrating a title win on their patch. But it doesn’t matter if it’s the first meeting or last as players are just desperate to win.
“Being banished didn’t bother him in the slightest – Lenny was more annoyed at how Celtic played and the fact that we blew a golden opportunity to win the league at Ibrox.
“He probably had me by the throat at one stage! Lenny will have Celtic fired up and he’ll love it. He’ll want to get one upon Rangers as it might be the last chance he gets to manage a Celtic team at Ibrox.”
Players must thrive and not shrink
Celtic have won eight-in-a-row and are on the cusp of a treble treble. But despite all of that, they disappointingly went into their shell under the pressurised environment of Ibrox last time out.
It was, by far, Celtic’s most lethargic and laboured performance of the season. It pains us all to say it, but Rangers were dominant, and we were lucky to get out of Govan with just the 1-0 loss.
Anything similar to that and Lennon will likely be going tonto at his players. He loves these occasions, and the fact he’s had to watch a couple from the stand as manager shows just how passionate he can be on the sidelines.
What Lennon says behind closed doors nobody knows. But so far, this current group of players hasn’t experienced a public bashing from their manager. You could see why would he considering the treble treble is still up for grabs, but a poor performance and result this weekend and Lennon probably won’t hold back.
Mulgrew knows all about Lennon’s passion for this fixture. Whether it’s played at Celtic Park, Govan, or Glasgow Green, the current gaffer always wants Rangers beat. The Celtic players have been warned – it’s time to match those same levels of determination.