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Celtic braced for Dundee clash at Parkhead
Published : 16 Feb 2013 04:16:52Rss feed
Celtic defender Charlie Mulgrew has warned his team-mates that Dundee United's new management team will make them a dangerous proposition when they visit Parkhead on Saturday.
United's new manager, Jackie McNamara, and his assistant Simon Donnelly are familiar faces at Celtic Park having both turned out for the Glasgow giants during their playing days.
McNamara will return to the club he captained with his United side on a high after seeing off both Rangers and Hearts in his first two matches since taking charge of the Tannadice side.
But with his former team-mate Neil Lennon's Celtic side holding an 18-point lead as they cruise to this year's Scottish Premier League title this will be McNamara's toughest test to date.
Mulgrew played alongside McNamara when they were at Wolves together in the 2006/07 season and is wary of the impact he could make at United.
"I got on well with Jackie, he's a really nice guy and I'm sure he will be a decent manager at Dundee United," said Mulgrew, whose side are desperate to bounce back from their midweek Champions League defeat to Juventus.
"I played with him when he had just left Celtic so he had years of experience behind him and obviously that helped me.
"He's a great lad and I sat next to him in the changing room. He comes across as quiet but that doesn't mean he's like that in the changing room.
"He has all the attributes to be a good manager, you could see that when he was a player. He has some great knowledge of the game. He'd left Aberdeen by the time I'd signed but he was at Celtic when I was a youth player.
"Growing up a Celtic fan I obviously watched him through the years, he was a great player for the club and I think he can do just as well as a manager.
"He got off to a great start two weeks ago and he will be trying to build on that so we should be careful when they come to Celtic Park."
Celtic hold an almost insurmountable lead at the top of the SPL and dished out a 4-0 defeat to United just last month.
But after the Tannadice club held them to a 2-2 draw earlier in the season, Mulgrew knows they are capable of taking more points off them on Saturday.
"United always produce a tough game, with a new manager in charge especially," the Scotland international said.
Celtic have almost a full squad to call on with Georgios Samaras the only injury doubt, but McNamara has been dealt a blow with the news that Gavin Gunning will miss the rest of the season through injury.
In Friday's fixture, Aberdeen defeated Dundee, 1-0.
Celtic v Dundee Utd, Hearts v Kilmarnock, Motherwell v Inverness CT, Ross County v St Johnstone, St Mirren v Hibernian