Nottingham Forest’s Wilson: van Dijk and Mouyokolo will adapt quickly to Celtic life

Kelvin Wilson feels Celtic’s new central defensive pairing will quickly adjust to the expectant environment of the Glasgow club.

Kelvin Wilson feels Celtic’s new central defensive pairing will quickly adjust to the expectant environment of the Glasgow club.

Virgil van Dijk and Steven Mouyokolo were Neil Lennon’s first choice centre-backs for the midweek Champions League clash with Shakhter Karagandy, which resulted in a 2-0 defeat, prompting some negativity from Hoops fans.

Wilson, who has returned to Nottingham Forest for family reasons, is familiar with starting life as a Celtic player and is confident that both van Dijk and Mouyokolo can rise above and become regular contributors sooner than later.

“I received a lot of stick in my first year at the club. You can’t let it get to you. It’s about having mental strength and self-belief to make sure you are successful,” he told the Daily Record.

“That’s especially true at a club the size of Celtic given the demands that come with it. Mental strength is so important. You must have that to succeed at Celtic.

“I found that out pretty quickly when I played in Scotland and I’m sure it will be the same for Steven and Virgil.

“I think it is harsh to blame them for what happened on Tuesday. I trained and played with them before I left the club and know they have the ability and mental capacity to cope and be successful.

“They just need time because only a few people move to new clubs – particularly when it is a new country and league – and hit the ground running.

“It takes time to settle, to familiarise yourself with your new team-mates and the coaching staff. Johan Mjallby will work closely with them and he is very capable so I know they will be absolutely fine.”

 
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