Scott Brown reacts to victory over Hibs and looks ahead to Europe

Scott Brown put in his best display of the season against Hibernian yesterday. Not only was that something the skipper did himself, but in the words of Neil Lennon, it was something the team did as a whole.

Speaking to the Daily Record after the game, Brown ran the rule over some of the youngsters in the team. When asked about the impressive Frimpong, who was named stadium man of the match, Broony said: “He’s fantastic, he’s got a great attitude and is always willing to learn. He is in meetings with the gaffer and the backroom staff as well because he wants to always get better. His energy and ability is second to none, he is one of the quickest I’ve seen and he’s got composure with the ball as well.”

On Turnbull, Brown continued: “He’s calm, he’s composed on the ball and he sees a forward pass too. He’s also got great awareness, so for us it’s great to have another Scottish boy in the team. He knows what it’s all about also, winning games for Celtic and how big a club this is.”

Albian Ajeti limped off with a hamstring injury after his goal at the weekend. Brown praised the striker, but feels that Celtic have the necessary cover to cope with his absence.

The skipper said: “Albian has done really well, he’s strong, he’s physical, he holds the ball up really well and he’s scoring goals. It’s just frustrating he’s got injured, especially when he’s just been getting into the groove. We’re fortunate we’ve got great players in attack.

“We’ve got Griff ready to come back too and the squad’s in a good place just now. I’m sure Ajeti will want to come back as quickly as possible. It’s about being in the right spot at the right time and he’s got that. He [Ajeti] has got that awareness and we’ve seen it in training. It’s hard for new people to come in here and hit the ground running, but he really has, he’s scoring goals and his link up play was also exceptional.

“He (Griffiths) has been working hard and he knows what’s expected of him. Everyone knows what he can do on the pitch. His left foot’s a wand and he’s one of the best finishers I’ve ever played with. So we just need to make sure he’s match fit and get him up to speed as quickly as possible.”

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Celtic have been criticised for their recent performances, which by Brown’s admission haven’t been pretty, but he insists he had no concerns and was glad to see things come together in better fashion yesterday.

He said: “I think everything just clicked, it has been coming for the last couple of weeks. Everyone’s on us for not scoring enough goals, but it’s all about winning games for us and maintaining that and we set a marker here to make sure we try to keep to those levels.

“It’s not going to be nice and easy every game. Everybody wants to beat us. That’s what happens when we’re champions as well. Everyone’s here to try and take our scalp. It is a long season and every game is not going to be pretty on the eye.

“When you go away to Aberdeen and Hibs and places like that, you have to make sure you scrape through. These lads have that winning mentality and we need to make sure that we keep going. It’s a great squad and that’s what the manager wanted. He wanted competition throughout and that’s what we’ve got.

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“Every week you’re playing for a place and last season was about 64, 65 games. There are going to be injuries and suspensions and that’s part and parcel. But it’s about the players who come in. It’s not just about the 11 players out there, it’s also about those working hard to get a chance, those behind the scenes who nobody sees.”

Celtic face a trip to Sarajevo on Europe League duty next, before facing St Johnstone ahead of the international break. Looking ahead to Thursday night’s test, Brown said:

“Last year we were fantastic in the (Europa League) group stages, topping one for the first time and including going to Italy and winning for the first time. It’s where we want to be. We want to be in the group stages. We want to be in the Champions League, but this season it wasn’t to be. So now it’s about making sure we get into the Europa League and see how far we can go.”

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About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up in Bournemouth with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic as a young child during the Martin O'Neill era. Still living on the south coast, I have a season ticket at Paradise and also travel to European away matches when possible. At the age of 19, I published my first Celtic book (Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support). Then, last year, I published my second book (Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events), which is sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores.

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