De­feat not a disas­ter for Celtic, says Brown

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -


Celtic cap­tain Scott Brown ad­mits it would not be a disas­ter if his side lost to Rangers in the Old Firm derby to­day.

The Hoops have a mas­sive 16-point lead over the Gers go­ing into the New Year’s Eve show­down at Ibrox and still have a game in hand over their ri­vals.

Celtic are un­beaten in 23 do­mes­tic games un­der Brendan Rodgers and are aim­ing to cap off a re­mark­able first half of the sea­son with vic­tory at Ibrox, which would be their 15th con­sec­u­tive win in the league.

“We’ve got to try and con­tinue our un­de­feated run for as long as we pos­si­bly can, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world,” Brown said when asked if a de­feat would take the shine off Celtic’s start to the sea­son.

“We are a few points clear and we’ve got to go there and en­joy the oc­ca­sion.”

It has been four years since a Celtic side vis­ited Ibrox on league duty af­ter Rangers’ fi­nan­cial melt­down in 2012 re­sulted in them be­ing forced to start again in the lower leagues of Scot­tish foot­ball.

Celtic thrashed Rangers 5-1 at Celtic Park back in Au­gust, but Brown ex­pects a sterner chal­lenge on the Gers’ home ter­ri­tory.

“It’s al­ways go­ing to be hard go­ing to Ibrox, no mat­ter how many points you are clear or if you’re chas­ing,” the Celtic cap­tain said.

“It’s al­ways a hard place to go, but we have to go there and be­lieve in our own abil­ity and try to play our own game.

“There’s lots of pres­sure on them. We’re a few points clear, but you still want to go there and get the three points and have a good per­for­mance.”

Brown has been warned against com­pla­cency by Celtic leg­end Murdo MacLeod, who won five league ti­tles, two Scot­tish Cups and one League Cup in his nine years at Celtic from 1978 to 1987.


MacLeod then re­turned as as­sis­tant man­ager to Wim Jansen in the 1997-98 sea­son to help Celtic stop Rangers winning a 10th ti­tle in a row.

“Celtic may be the favourites just now, but such are the na­ture of Old Firm games that you never un­der­es­ti­mate the op­po­si­tion,” MacLeod told AFP.

“It’s al­ways go­ing to be tough when you go to Ibrox, es­pe­cially for the Celtic team this week. They’ll be look­ing at this game know­ing fine well that they’re on a fan­tas­tic run of vic­to­ries right now.

“But any­thing can hap­pen on Satur­day. If they can get all three points, it lets ev­ery­one know how strong they are.”

Rangers had been in their best form of the sea­son with four suc­ces­sive wins be­fore they were held to a 1-1 draw by St John­stone on Wed­nes­day.

It saw them fall even fur­ther be­hind Celtic, who look well on course to claim­ing a sixth con­sec­u­tive ti­tle.

But Rangers striker Mar­tyn Waghorn says he and his team-mates do not need any ex­tra mo­ti­va­tion for an Old Firm derby. — AFP

Scott Brown

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