| 6°C Dublin

Brown a better Bhoy after Lennon's words

Celtic midfielder Scott Brown believes he benefited from the instructions of Neil Lennon after netting his first club goal of the season during the new manager's debut.

The 24-year-old scored his first Celtic goal in more than a year as Lennon began his interim reign with a 3-1 victory over Hibernian on Saturday.

Lennon had urged the Celtic captain to be clinical with his forward runs and was repaid handsomely.

Brown revealed: "He said before that game that he wanted me to pick and choose my runs, and that when I go forward have an attempt at goal or create something. I think I did that.

"I prefer going forward. I have a lot of energy and prefer to burn it."

Brown, who has been troubled by an ankle problem for much of the last 12 months, scored the only goal in Scotland's friendly win over the Czech Republic earlier this month.

But his previous Celtic goal came more than a year ago, when he hit a double in a 7-0 triumph over St Mirren.

"It's about time to be fair," Brown said. "It was February last year so I think it was overdue. "I've not had a lot of games this year to be perfectly honest.

"Hopefully next season there will be a few more goals added to my game."

Celtic now face Hibs at Easter Road on Sunday and Brown expects a tough game against John Hughes' side.

"I think he has taken Hibs on a little bit," Brown said of the Easter Road manager. "They are a passing team, they score goals and have good players.

"I played with Derek (Riordan) for a number of years and they have (Anthony) Stokes as well, so they're a good team."

Celtic's slim Scottish Premier League title hopes received a rare and unexpected boost last night when Rangers fell to a 4-1 defeat against St Johnstone.

However, the Hoops remain 10 points behind, having played a game more, leaving Rangers needing just four wins from their remaining eight matches to retain the SPL trophy.

"Anything is possible but it's going to be very hard," Brown said. "We just have to stick to our guns and try to win as many games as we can."