Player of month Mulgrew hoping ‘things get better’ for Old Firm rivals

CHARLIE Mulgrew ignored traditional Old Firm enmity to express sympathy for Rangers winger Gregg Wylde, who offered to leave the the administration-hit Ibrox club to save other jobs.

The Celtic defender celebrated his 26th birthday yesterday at the league leaders’ Lennoxtown training ground, picking up the Clydesdale Bank Premier League player of the month award for February, a week after winning his first cap for Scotland in the friendly in Slovenia.

Meanwhile, at Rangers’ Murray Park training centre, administrators Duff and Phelps were locked in talks with players as they looked to make the £1million saving per month needed to keep the club afloat. It emerged at lunchtime that 20-year-old winger Wylde had volunteered to leave, telling STV: “I wanted to help out the club by keeping people in a job”.

Amid ongoing confusion and growing concerns for the future of the Scottish champions, Mulgrew said: “I know one or two of them. Somebody mentioned Gregg Wylde, I know him and I know his family well. So I have a lot of sympathy towards him and I just hope things can get better over there. It just shows how good a character he is.

“Somebody was saying at lunch that he came through here [at Celtic] when he was 11. I am sure he will do okay and go on and get another club because he has done very well at Rangers and he is a very good player.”

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Mulgrew, in his second spell at the Parkhead club, admitted February had “definitely” represented the peak of his career to date.

Celtic have forged 21 points clear of Rangers at the top of the SPL and, although a 1-1 draw against Aberdeen on Saturday, ended their winning run – which stretched back the previous 20 domestic games – Neil Lennon’s men remain on course for the title and a possible treble.

Following Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup tie at Dundee United, Celtic take on Kilmarnock in the final of the Scottish Communities League Cup final at Hampden.

“It is nice to get player of the month, it shows I contributed to the team so I am happy with that,” said Mulgrew.

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“Apart from Saturday, when we didn’t continue our winning record, the run we were on was fantastic and to play for Scotland was great, so it was a good month.

“It is an honour to play for your country, everyone wants to play for their country, I’m no different.

“I was delighted to go away with the squad first and foremost and to start the game was just brilliant and hopefully there is more to come.

“So things are going well at the moment but there is still a long way to go in the season and we are not looking too far ahead.”