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Mulgrew's Celtic free-kicks up there with Nakamura - Dunfermline's Smith

Dunfermline Athletic goalkeeper Chris Smith has heaped praise on Celtic defender Charlie Mulgrew for his free-kick ability.

The Hoops centre-back delivered a brilliant goal from a dead ball in the 3-0 victory at Dunfermline on Monday which gave Smith little chance and his former Scotland U21 teammate was full of adulation for his exploits.

"You don't play for Celtic unless you've a lot of quality and Charlie's always had that," Smith said.

"I can remember we were in the Scotland Under-21 squad and even then as a young player he'd want a goalie to stay behind so he could ping a few free-kicks at him.

"It was usually me and he had a great ability to strike a dead ball even then.

"Celtic have a history of guys who can take great free-kicks, like (Shunsuke) Nakamura and Shaun Maloney. I played for St Mirren a couple of years ago in a game where Naka hit a hat-trick.

"A couple of those goals were from free-kicks but he was more about precision when he struck them.

"Charlie can put the ball where he wants to but he can get a lot of power and movement behind them as well.

"He strikes the ball with strength and pace which, let me tell you, is a nightmare combination for a goalkeeper. When you add the kind of wind there was on Monday, it's pretty much impossible to stop."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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