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P&J Mulgrew out to prove a point for club and country

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Mulgrew out to prove a point for club and country

defender targets third spot with club and a call-up for national squad


By Michael Gannon


Published: 13/04/2009


Aberdeen defender Charlie Mulgrew possesses one of the most lethal left feet in the SPL, but he knows he must make improvements if he is to realise his dreams of playing in Europe next season and progressing to the Scotland set-up.


The former under-21 international showed why he is regarded as one of the best dead-ball specialists in the country with a superb cross which allowed Gary McDonald to head home the winner against Inverness Caley Thistle at Pittodrie on Saturday.


The 1-0 victory, achieved with just 11 minutes remaining, secured a top-six place in the SPL for the Dons and helped take the pressure off manager Jimmy Calderwood.


Mulgrew’s set piece prowess has proved crucial this season, but he has been told by his manager to sharpen up the defensive side of his game.


The 23-year-old said: “The manager has told me a few times. I am sick of hearing it to be honest, but I know what I have to do.


“I have to believe in myself. I need to work on all parts of my game and hopefully catch the Scotland manager’s eye.


“It would definitely help if we were in Europe next season. Every player wants to play at the highest level and we are no different. Europe is the big goal and we will keep working hard to achieve it.


“I was delighted with the cross. I just try to get balls in the box and hopefully someone gets on the end of it. It was great to see Gary McDonald rise at the back post and stick it away.


“I do work on my crossing in training, but the important thing is people getting on the end of it. You could be the best crosser in the world but no one would remember them if no one puts them away.â€


Mulgrew was confident the Dons would secure maximum points against the Caley Jags. Now a top-six finish has been assured Aberdeen are now focusing their efforts on the race for third spot.


Saturday’s win eroded Hearts’ advantage to five points and while the Dons face an arduous trip to Celtic Park on Saturday, former Celt Mulgrew believes they are capable of winning in Glasgow.


He said: “We knew the goal would come, we just had to be patient, keep the ball and attack when we could.


“They were very good in the break, especially in the first half, but we knew if we kept it tight at the back we would get a goal.


“It was great to get the victory. Now we can concentrate on pushing for third. We are at Parkhead on Saturday, but we are going there to try to win.


“We have done fairly well against the Old Firm this season and we believe we can get something there.


“By getting into the top six we have big games to look forward to. The smaller games are just as important, but you always enjoy the big games against the likes of the Old Firm.


“It is good to go back to my old club, it is a great stadium to play football in, but I feel I have a point to prove in every game, not just the ones against Celtic.â€


Agree with what JC said in another article in the paper, that he has the hard part of his game (his delivery) just his defensive skills are almost non existant. I hope this is something he will learn, but somehow doubt it if he is only realising this with 6 games to go...


The highlighted bit frustrates me though. This is something we all know, and is fucking visible with the displays on the park! They really need to sort that out, and with the amount of embarrassments they've had, you would have thought they would have by now  :-\

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He believes he's a big time "Charlie". I'd say that's the biggest problem.


Aye i can see that "look at me i can score a weapon free kick" strut about him.  For me he's physically to gangly to play at fullback, anytime he's up against anyone who can dribble he gets torn a new one its and mostly because of his lack of agility.

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Aye i can see that "look at me i can score a weapon free kick" strut about him.  For me he's physically to gangly to play at fullback, anytime he's up against anyone who can dribble he gets torn a new one its and mostly because of his lack of agility.


But another problem is, he isn't the quickest. So where do you play him then?  :-\

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Mulgrew plans a special delivery

Calderwood looks to set-piece expert Charlie to give DOns the edge at Parkhead


By Michael Gannon


Published: 15/04/2009


Aberdeen manager Jimmy Calderwood is looking to set-piece specialist Charlie Mulgrew to inflict more damage on Celtic this weekend and improve the chances of Europa League qualification.


Mulgrew, who left Celtic for Wolves in 2006, has already caused his former employers plenty of problems this season. He came off the bench at Parkhead to score a sublime free kick and netted a second on the half volley before the Dons conceded two late goals to lose 3-2 in September. He tormented the Hoops again at Pittodrie in January, picking out Zander Diamond twice to give the Dons a stunning 4-2 victory.


Mulgrew’s delivery, coupled with Celtic’s occasionally unconvincing zonal marking system which has rendered them vulnerable at set-pieces, seems ripe for exploitation.


Aberdeen are looking to hang on to fourth spot after the SPL split this weekend but they are level on points with fifth-placed Dundee United. The Arabs host Kilmarnock this weekend.


Calderwood said: “Charlie has been a bit of a thorn in the side of Celtic this season.


“I left him out of the starting line-up at Parkhead and Gordon Strachan admitted beforehand he was relieved, because he had identified Charlie as a big danger. We went with a different formation that day, but it turned out Scott Severin got injured early in the match and Charlie came on and scored two terrific goals.


“He caused them massive problems in our 4-2 win here as well. He set up two goals with wonderful free kicks.


“Celtic will know all about his threat but, hopefully, he can do it again on Saturday.â€


Mulgrew, who has four goals and seven assists for the season, is acknowledged as one of the best dead-ball exponents in the SPL but has suffered criticism of his defending.


Calderwood insisted Mulgrew is working hard to polish his game and the message is getting across.


He said: “Charlie’s deliveries are fabulous. They are just about as impossible to deal with for defenders and goalkeepers. They are such a potent weapon for us.


“Charlie is very professional and extremely hard working. He loves training – he has barely missed a session all season – and he always gives his all.


“He has a lot of natural talent, but he works hard on his set-pieces and crosses in training.


“He is one who will get the wall dummies out and spend extra time working on his free kicks. He will work and work to develop his talent.


“We have spoken about his defending and I know he is tired of hearing it but he knows what to do.


“He is an ambitious player and he genuinely wants to improve.â€


This bit really impresses me. I wish certain players would try harder outside of training to improve their "skills".

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