Out of contract star: Don’t question my commitment to Celtic

Celtic defender Charlie Mulgrew has defended himself against claims he lacks commitment to the cause.

Back in November, fans heavily criticised the 30-year-old for leaving the pitch in a crucial Europa League tie against Ajax.

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The centre half, whose contract with the Scottish champions is up this summer, has said he had no choice but to come off the pitch that night after he feared he would make the injury he sustained much worse. He told the Scottish Sun:

“To my mind it was better for me and better for the team if I had it treated and got back quicker. I could have stayed on, made it worse and been out even longer.”

“Before the game, when the manager asked ‘How long do you think you can play?’, I said ‘I can give you 20 minutes’. So then I came on with 25 to go. We were 2-1 down and he needed to make a sub.

“I couldn’t say ‘Hang on, wait five minutes’. It was a case of ‘Let’s go and see what I can do.’ ”

“I felt like a game of basketball that night. Ajax in the Europa League, we needed to win, and it was a case of running up and down and up and down. Because of that I did it precisely 20 minutes after I went on.”

The thigh injury meant that Celtic went down to 10 men after using all three of their substitutes, making it harder for the Scottish team to recover the 2-1 deficit.

The loss meant that Ronny Deila’s side were knocked out of the Europa League group stage, leading to many angry messages being aimed at Mulgrew on social media.

The 30-year-old is hopeful however he will get a new contract to stay at Celtic Park.