Tuesday 12 December 2017

Brown braced for battle

Skipper Scott Brown has predicted a battle against Hearts tonight as Celtic aim to stretch their lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League to four points.

The Hoops' last defeat in the SPL was at Tynecastle when they slumped to a 2-0 loss on October 2. Since then, Neil Lennon's men have embarked upon an impressive unbeaten run that has seen them leapfrog rivals Rangers into pole position in the title race.

However, Brown, who has been named the SPL's player of the month for January, is well aware of the threat posed by the fourth-placed Jambos ahead of the clash in Edinburgh.

He said: "We know how good Hearts are. We see them week in, week out. It's always hard. We are going to try to play football and so are they, so we are looking forward to it."

On the prospect of moving four points ahead of Rangers -- who were 15 points clear of Celtic earlier in the season -- the midfielder said: "We will take it as it comes. We've still got to play the game before we think that far ahead. We will just try to play football.

"The confidence is always there, no matter what. We go into every game thinking we can win it. We will give 100pc no matter who we are playing."

While Celtic remain on course for a domestic treble, Rangers' only hope of silverware this season is the SPL title at a time when their financial issues have been well documented.

Asked if the Hoops players have discussed the plight of their Glasgow rivals, Brown said: "We are not really talking about that, we are just trying to concentrate on our own game.

"Rangers are still a great side and we've just got to show how good we can be."

Hearts v Celtic,

Live, Sky Sports 1, 7.45

Irish Independent

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