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Page last updated at 12:26 GMT, Thursday, 3 February 2011

Mark Wilson hopes for extended run with Celtic

Mark Wilson celebrates his Celtic goal
Wilson scored his first goal since joining Celtic from Dundee United in 2006

Mark Wilson hopes he has established himself again in the Celtic first-team but recognises that he is not ideally suited to being a central defender.

Normally a right-back, Wilson formed a makeshift partnership with Charlie Mulgrew in Tuesday's win over Aberdeen in the absence of fit centre-halves.

"I needed to take my chance and hopefully I have done that," he said.

"We were low on centre-halfs and me and Charlie were the last options, but we were delighted with the clean sheet."

Wilson could again play in that position in Sunday's testing Scottish Cup fifth-round tie against Rangers at Ibrox should Thomas Rogne fail to recover from injury.

Barring a replay, there will be four more Old Firm derbies this season, two in the Scottish Premier League and the Co-operative Insurance Cup final.

"I have been lucky enough to play in four of them," Wilson said of Old Firm games.

I always wanted to score for Celtic and it happened probably when we needed a goal most

Celtic defender Mark Wilson

"They are great games and I love playing in them and hopefully we get the rub of the green and the majority go our way."

Wilson does not rule out a treble for Celtic at the end of the season.

"We are still in all competitions," he said. "It has not been done for a while, so here's hoping."

The defender celebrated his call-up to the Scotland squad for next Wednesday's Carling Nations Cup clash with Northern Ireland by heading his side's second goal - his first for the club he joined in 2006 - as they defeated the Dons for the third time in 11 days.

"It has been a long time coming," he told BBC Scotland. "I always wanted to score for Celtic and it happened probably when we needed a goal most.

"You don't want to be going into the last bit of the game just the one goal up. It is always pretty nervy, so the second goal settled us."

Wilson thanked Neil Lennon, for whom he played when the Northern Irishman was Celtic reserve team boss, for restoring his confidence after he lost a regular place under previous manager Tony Mowbray.

The 26-year-old had established himself at right-back in recent weeks following the absence of Cha Du-Ri, who has been playing for South Korea in the Asian Cup, until his temporary switch to central defence.

"I feel like I'm going along pretty nicely," added Wilson. "I have managed to avoid injuries for a wee while now and I always believed that, if I could avoid injuries, I was good enough to play in the Celtic side.

"I am glad to get a wee bit of a run just now and I had a bit of luck when Cha went to the tournament with his national team and that allowed me to come in.

"Efrain Juarez also came in at right-back, even though it isn't his natural position, and did well.

"There is no doubt the sending-off helped us as it took a lot of pressure off the back four, but it is terrific to keep a clean sheet again and big Fraser Forster made some important saves."

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see also
Lennon hails strike partnership
01 Feb 11 |  Celtic
Aberdeen 0-3 Celtic
01 Feb 11 |  Scottish Premier
Forest reject Celtic Wilson raid
31 Jan 11 |  Celtic

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