Sport Soccer

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Lennon expects more from Scott Brown


Ronnie Esplin

Neil Lennon watched Scott Brown notch his fourth goal in four games in Celtic's 4-0 win over Hearts at Tynecastle last night and claimed there was even more to come from his skipper.

Brown was sidelined for two months earlier in the season following surgery to cure an ongoing ankle problem and the recaptured form which won him the Clydesdale Bank Premier League player of the month award for January was again on display in Gorgie.

Seconds after Stephen Elliott's second-minute header appeared to cross the line before being blocked by Celtic midfielder Joe Ledley, the visitors raced up the park and Brown drove low past Jambos keeper Jamie MacDonald for the opener.

Midfielder Victor Wanyama and Ledley made it 3-0 by the interval before striker Gary Hooper scored the fourth after the break to stretch Celtic's lead over Rangers at the top of the SPL to four points.

"I think there is more to come from Scott," said Lennon.

"I think he is a really good footballer, what I call a proper footballer.

"He is only 26 and his peak years are still ahead of him.

"There is no doubt that he was hampered by injury.

"He is a sort of lad who plays through pain but sometimes it was detrimental to him.

"He came through the surgery, his rehab has been good and now we see Scott Brown at his very best and long may it continue, because he is such a powerful influence on the team."

Delighted as he was with Brown and the rest of his team, Lennon admits his side were let off the hook when referee Willie Collum and his assistant Andy Tait failed to see that Elliott's header had crossed the line.

"I think we copped a break," he said.

"Judging by the cameras it looks like it is over the line and the only disappointing thing was we didn't deal with the initial header from the corner.

"Psychologically it might have given Hearts a lift. The ironic thing is we go down the other end and score the goal.

"But the reaction I got for the rest of the game was magnificent."

Hearts boss Paulo Sergio insists the match would have turned out differently had the 'goal' been given.

He said: "Listen, we can score that goal and lose 6-1 - but it is a different story.

"It would not have been 4-1, it would have been a different game.

"I can't say whether or not we would have won the game if the goal had been given but you have to agree with me it would have been harder for Celtic."

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