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Charlie Mulgrew says there is one Celtic player who was ‘unlucky’ not to start vs Aberdeen



As Celtic look forward to another Scottish Cup Final in May, the players now have an extra incentive to put in the hard yards from now until the end of the season.


I mean it’s not as if they don’t anyway because the title run-in will keep them


laser-focused but we all know that an end-of-season cup final is the one game that players really look forward to.


The showpiece occasion is generally the biggest curtain call for the season and to be involved in it really is something special. And Celtic should know.


On the 25th of May, Brendan Rodgers‘ team will contest Celtic’s 61st Scottish Cup Final with the hope of bringing the trophy to Paradise for the 42nd time.


Holding the record for most Scottish Cup wins, Celtic have a rich history in the tournament both in the final and semi-final stages.


And Saturday’s game against Aberdeen truly was an epic occasion and the players who took part and started the game will look back on it as probably one of the best in their career.


Tomoki Iwata ‘unlucky’ to lose Scottish Cup starting spot

However, Charlie Mulgrew believes that there is one Celtic player who was very unfortunate not to start against Aberdeen as he has been playing well over the last few weeks.


Speaking about Callum McGregor‘s return to the Celtic first-team, Mulgrew was asked if he always knew the Celtic captain was a player when McGregor’s Parkhead career first kicked off.



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Mulgrew said [BBC], “Well, you never know the mentality. You see him coming into training you could see he was a great player.


EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – OCTOBER 22: Tomoki Iwata of Celtic celebrates with team mates after scoring his team’s fourth goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Heart of Midlothian and Celtic FC at Tynecastle Park on October 22, 2023 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)





“He played in the wing-back then so you knew you had that good footballing ability and a willingness on the pitch.


“You never know the mentality has shown him step up to the Celtic captaincy even before that, how mentally strong he is to be a Celtic player.


“I think [Tomoki] Iwata can feel unlucky because he’s done really well but the best midfield three is McGregor, Hatate and Matt O’Riley and that’s why they are playing.”


And that is the dilemma that Rodgers has faced leading up to the cup semi.


Whilst it will never be argued that McGregor must always start these big games, the Japanese midfielder is just a victim of unfortunate circumstances.


The Celtic captain is so important to how the team plays that no matter how well Iwata has been doing, he will always play second fiddle to McGregor.


And that’s not a reflection on Iwata. He would start for every other team in the Scottish Premiership.


It’s just unfortunate that he is competing against one of the best players Celtic has ever produced in our most recent history.


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