Charlie Mulgrew admits Neil Lennon and Scott Brown will be hurting right now.
But the former Celtic star is absolutely adamant there’s no duo better equipped to land the Quadruple Treble and deliver 10 in a row.
Mulgrew knows the pair inside-out. The defender was Lennon’s very first signing as manager when he took the job back in 2010. He shared five title triumphs with Brown as his captain led from the front.
While Lennon has also clinched five of the nine titles already snared during this past decade. his on-field lieutenant has lifted every single one of them.
As far as Mulgrew is concerned, that’s the highest qualifications.
Two men who have been there, seen it and done it. Who know how to cope with the extreme pressures and tough situations such as the one currently facing the team.
Mulgrew says the pain will act as a driving force in recovery as he said: “These two know what it takes and they will be hurting. If you weren’t hurting there would be problems.
“That creates resilience and that’s why they are where they are. I don’t think there are any two better leaders than the manager and the captain to take the club forward.
“Has there ever been a manager in his history who’s had a couple of defeats and a draw and had the full backing of everybody?
“Brendan Rodgers had won a Double Treble, unbeaten in his first season, and there were whispers about his style of football and he wasn’t doing something right.
“That just is part of being at Celtic. You are only ever a couple of games from being under pressure and that is what it is like being at Celtic and at Rangers and you have to deal with that.
“He [Lennon] knows that’s what it’s like to be a Celtic manager. He’s been there long enough as a player and a manager.
“My experience of Broony is that whenever he has come in for a bit of criticism you have seen the best of him.
“He knows what pressure comes with the territory and what comes with a couple of bad games. It doesn’t matter if you have played well yourself.
“If the team doesn't win everyone comes under scrutiny and that is part of the game. The first thing they will say about Broony is his age, but he is one of the fittest players I have played with and he’ll be out on that training pitch working for the next match and ready to help the team.
“They are two guys who have been over the distance. They are having a sticky patch. It happens to every team in the world. It is magnified at Celtic and Rangers.”
Mulgrew finds it unbelievable that some critics are hammering a Celtic team that’s hunting a Quadruple Treble and 10 in a Row, even if it doesn’t really shock him.
Just like Lennon and Brown, he has experienced the harsh realities. Success and expectation brings special demands and relentless scrutiny.
Not even 11 successive trophies has quelled some of the recent noise and Mulgrew said: “We’re talking about a team that could win a quadruple treble and 10 in a row and they’re still getting criticised. What else can you do?
“Quadruple treble. Even saying that is unbelievable, questioning a team that could get that. A team that’s sat on a treble-treble and could get 10-in-a-row. I find that unbelievable.
“That’s what it’s like to be at Celtic. When it’s great, it’s great. A wee bit of a sticky patch, that’s the way it is. That’s the nature of playing for Celtic and Rangers. You need to deal with it.
You’re only ever a couple of games away from being under pressure. You have to deal with that.”
Mulgrew is watching events unfold from 200 miles down the road at Fleetwood. He signed for manager Joey Barton a fortnight ago and is enjoying himself, even if he did jokingly describe last weekend’s win at Gillingham as being “like a fight in the Octagon rather than a game of football!”
The Premiership scrap will continue through the coming months in Glasgow and Mulgrew knows how fast it can turn. He scored when Lennon was under big pressure during a fightback 3-3 draw at Kilmarnock in 2011.
He won his first title on the back of that. Now after a 3-3 draw at Aberdeen, Mulgrew thinks he can win Celtic’s 10th.
Lennon will deal calmly with the situation as Mulgrew recalled the reaction to being 3-0 down at half-time in Ayrshire and said: “You are just waiting to get your neck wrung, basically.
“The thing is he didn’t go crazy. He just spoke positively and reassured all the players. You saw the response in the second half.
“Around Christmas we ended up going top of the league and we stayed there.
“It shows you how fast it can turn. They got a draw at the weekend. That could still be a turning point. If they get a result in the next game would really give the players a lift.
“Anything you’ve done in life, you’ve been through and experienced, you’re going to be better the next time.
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint. We’re only at the start of November, there’s a long, long way to go.”
*Charlie Mulgrew was speaking at a William Hill media event. William Hill is the proud sponsor of the Scottish Cup.