MULGREW SAD TO MISS OUT ON TREBLE
Charlie Mulgrew's remarkable season continued on Tuesday when he collected yet another individual award, but he admits losing out on a domestic treble with Celtic still rankles.
The 26-year-old defender picked up his PFA Scotland player of the year award at Lennoxtown, an accolade already received from the Celtic players and Hoops supporters.
Mulgrew, who won his first Scotland cap in the friendly against Slovenia in February, will collect a player of the year award on Tuesday night from the sponsors of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and from the Scottish Football Writers' Association on Sunday.
The former Wolves and Aberdeen player admits it will be "a great day" when he gets his hands on the SPL trophy on Sunday after the last game of the season against Hearts at Celtic Park, but he cannot help but look back at the two cup competitions that got away.
The Parkhead side looked on course for the treble before coming unstuck against Kilmarnock in the Scottish Communities League Cup final at Hampden in March before losing to Hearts in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at the national stadium last month.
"Obviously winning the cups would have been nice after getting to a semi-final and final," said Mulgrew.
"But we would have taken winning the league at the start of the season.
"We'll just need to look at the positives and look to improve next year again.
"It's a great feeling to be voted for by your fellow professionals and to win these awards is brilliant but the most important thing is we won the league.
"It's a team game and as a team we won that and we're delighted."
Asked if the PFA trophy was the pinnacle of the individual awards available to players, he said: "Yeah I would say so. When the players you play against vote for you it's a real honour.
"To get any award is an honour but to get that one, it really tops it off.
"Every season I look to improve, as a team and individually, so next year, hopefully, I can do better again."
Manager Neil Lennon threatened his players with a hard week's training this week after losing 1-0 to Dundee United at Tannadice on Sunday.
The Northern Irishman was unhappy at the attitude of some of his side and Mulgrew revealed the boss was as good as his word.
"We've had a hard test today and no doubt it will be a hard week," he said.
"I'm sure he will have us prepared for the Hearts game.
"The manager is fair and honest with us. He is hard but he brings out the best in all of us.
"I thought we actually did okay until we conceded a sloppy goal at a corner.
"It was a bad goal to lose and it gave Dundee United something to hold onto and that's all they did really, sit and hold onto that.
"Fair play to them, they made it difficult for us, defended well and kept us out.
"But we never took our chances and conceded a sloppy goal so hopefully we can put that right this week."
Mulgrew, in his second spell at Celtic, knows he and the club will have it all to prove again next season and he had a word of advice for players recruited by Lennon.
He said: "It's a big club and players coming here, they realise that quickly.
"The fans demand a high performance week in week out and they'll quickly need to learn how to win.
"It takes a while to settle in anywhere but I'm sure that whoever the manager brings in will be ready to play and be up for it."
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