Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

LEE WILKIE: Case for the defence – Charlie Mulgrew loving life at Dundee United while Dundee’s backline will take plenty heart from Tynecastle result

Columnist Lee Wilkie with Charlie Mulgrew and the Dundee defence.
Columnist Lee Wilkie with Charlie Mulgrew and the Dundee defence.

Dundee United’s centre-backs were hogging the headlines at the weekend and quite rightly, too.

As a former central defender myself, that’s the kind of thing I want to see!

All season, the backline of the Tangerines has been lauded for the way they’ve kept the goals out.

Now, though, they are putting them in at the other end.

Not only that, but they are setting each other up for goals.

Charlie Mulgrew and Ryan Edwards grabbed the goals that made it three wins in a row with victory over Motherwell.

And it’s clear they are enjoying life at Tannadice.

You only had to look at the way Mulgrew celebrated his goal to see that.

Mulgrew celebrates

There were question marks over his signing at the start of the season.

Not over his quality or his attitude, but whether he could stay fit over the season.

That’ll still be levelled at him, that just happens at a certain age.

However, he has clearly been United’s Player of the Season so far.

And the beauty of his recent performances, like I said before, is he is affecting things at both ends of the pitch.

I think back to the derby when he threw in a last-gasp tackle to stop Cillian Sheridan equalising.

And then there’s Saturday where he ends up on the wing, does a step-over and sends in a beauty of a cross with his right foot for his central defensive partner to score.

It was unreal.

Leader on and off the park

As well as affecting things at both ends on the pitch, it very much seems like he’s doing a lot off it as well.

They knew what kind of person he was and the kind of player they were bringing in.

And it’s so important to have good characters with real experience around a club.

It adds so much.

I think back to my time at Dundee with Barry Smith and then there was the likes of Barry Robson at United.

Those sorts of guys expect a certain level from everyone they play with.

And players raise their game to meet that expectation.

It also helps when everything is going their way – there’s no getting frustrated because things aren’t quite going right.

Mulgrew nets the winner against Motherwell.

United are playing well because they are able to relax into games and go with what happens.

That’s great to see.

Be wary of Livi

But it should also be a warning for the Tangerines.

Because we’ve all seen in football how quickly things can change. One little bit of bad luck bleeds into another and results begin to get affected.

That’s what they have to be wary of.

Livingston tomorrow night is now a game with expectation of three points, but Livi come into this one having won two on the bounce and they’ll be right up for this game.

Tam Courts says he won’t leave any stone unturned and is into football 24/7. That will help.

Livingston, though, will be a real test. No doubt about that.

Jason Cummings gets the goal but Dee backline deserves credit

Lee Ashcroft, Ryan Sweeney and Jordan McGhee surround Hearts winger Barrie McKay.

Just as Dundee United’s backline played a big role in their win at the weekend, Dundee’s defenders will take plenty of confidence from their draw at Hearts.

It may not have been a result for the ages, but I’d call it a typical away point.

Heading to a tough venue with the opponent playing well, the hosts would be expected to have more of the play.

And that’s the way it was.

But the key for the Dee was keeping themselves in the game.

In particular Lee Ashcroft and Ryan Sweeney helped them do that.

Ashcroft has been such an important player for Dundee and it’s good to see Sweeney starting to settle in to life at Dens.

When you have players like Jason Cummings, Leigh Griffiths or Charlie Adam, you will always get a chance at the other end.

And that was proved with Cummings grabbing the equaliser.

That opened up a bit of a gap on bottom side Ross County.

Tomorrow night they have the chance to stretch that even further with the Staggies at Dens Park.

It’s a huge game for both sides with so much at stake.

Take a big win and Dundee are right back into the clutch of teams in front of them.

They don’t want to get detached, get a couple of results and they are right in amongst it again.

Lee Wilkie’s weekly column is published in the Evening Telegraph every Tuesday.


Charlie Mulgrew on why Dundee United return is ‘fitting’ as ex-Celtic and Aberdeen ace makes ‘best shape’ declaration

Already a subscriber? Sign in