Dundee Utd ace Mulgrew issues immediate apology to Aberdeen’s Ojo after tackle

FRESH-faced Calvin Ramsay is the new kid on the block at Aberdeen, a  confident and impressive attacking right-back trusted by his manager,  Stephen Glass, to do his job as he sets out on a career in Scottish  football’s top tier.

Charlie Mulgrew is a hugely-experienced former Pittodrie defender now  in his second spell at Dundee United who, when he left the Dons, was a  stellar performer at Celtic and at Blackburn Rovers.

Both Ramsay and Mulgrew grabbed much of the attention in Aberdeen’s  convincing 2-0 defeat against United in Sunday’s sometimes  over-physical clash, the Reds players for his cultured display, the  newly-signed Arab for a challenge on Funso Ojo, moments from the end.

To his credit, Mulgrew issued an immediate post-match apology to the  midfielder, whose seat on the plane to Iceland for the Europa  Conference League qualifier against Breidalblik on Thursday, may have  to be offered to someone else.

Glass was among many who winced when Mulgrew’s touchline tackle ended  Ojo’s time on the pitch but the United man insisted there was no  malice in the challenge and that it was one he had to make.

“I had already committed myself,” he said.  “I went in and apologised  to the lad.  It was a 50/50 and I had made my mind up.  I won the ball  but I caught him a wee bit.  I apologised to him and he realised we  were both going for the ball and I didn’t mean any harm.”

If Ojo’s injury was painful, the hurt for Mulgrew and his team-mates  felt was palpable after ninety punishing minutes which brought goals  from Jonny Hayes and Christian Ramirez.

“There were positives,” Mulgrew said, “but they are hard to pick out  because of the disappointment of the result.  There were small margins  in the game.  They took their chances and we never.  That is something we need to look at.”

It will, indeed, be a priority when new manager Tam Courts examines  how to cope with the visit of Rangers on Saturday where there will be  a definite need to prevent scoring opportunities for the Premiership  champions.

Mulgrew added: “Saturday will be an even harder game.  We will have  the home crowds, which we will be thankful for and hopefully it will  give us a bit more energy,  but we need to create the atmosphere with  our play.”

At 35-years-old, the big centre-back is at the veteran stage of his  professional life, while Ramsay dreams of the possibilities that await  him.

He turned eighteen last Saturday and has established himself in  Aberdeen’s first-team squad with assured displays with his expert  cross finding the head of Ramirez’s head for the second goal.

“I just try to be as effective as I can in every game I play,” he  said, “and got an assist against United. I’m really young and pleased  the manager put me in. I think with every game I play I’m just going  to get stronger and stronger.

“I don’t get nervous because I train well and try to prove what I can  do. The manager has faith in me and I think I’ve done pretty well, to  be honest.

“I’m really young to play in the first team, but I’ve been at Aberdeen  since I was young and that’s all I’ve aimed for. Now that it’s come  about, I want to try to grasp that, play as many games as possible and  play well.”

There are many at Pittodrie that see Ramsay as a star in the making  and with other youngsters like Ross McCrorie and Kack MacKenzie  forging their way in first-team football, they believe there is a  positive season ahead.

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992