Injured captain Brown refusing to give up hope

Celtic's Scott Brown
Celtic's Scott Brown

Celtic skipper Scott Brown cannot be out on the pitch when his side bid to reverse a three-goal deficit against Legia Warsaw, but he will be in the dressing room beforehand calling on his team-mates to show the same spirit and belief that pulled them out of a similar hole last season.

Ronny Deila suffered a difficult start to his Celtic career when the manager lost Brown to a torn hamstring literally seconds into his opening pre-season game.

And the pressure intensified when Celtic capitulated in Poland last week, seeing Efe Ambrose sent off in a 4-1 defeat in their Champions League third qualifying round first leg encounter.

Legia also missed two penalties, and whether that merely saved Celtic from utter humiliation on the night, or whether it ultimately rescued their Champions League hopes, will become clear at Murrayfield tonight.

Celtic suffered another painful European defeat last season, in the fourth qualifying round against Shakhter Karagandy, but Brown and his colleagues recovered to overturn a 2-0 defeat at Parkhead.

And the midfielder had an instant response when asked what the key to their comeback was.

“Spirit,” he said. “Everyone believed we could do it. We knew we were a better team than we showed over there and I’m sure the lads will be thinking that as well.

“We have a point to prove. Can we go out and do it again? I believe we can.

“It always hurts when people write you off, but that’s football. People always write you off. That’s when you have to put the wrongs right and go out there and show everyone what you can do.

“You can prove a point to everyone out there on the field.”

Deila’s task in forging a relationship with his squad has no doubt been hampered by losing his captain to injury, but Brown is doing his best to support the squad.

“I’ve been on the training field as well, I’ve been with the lads,” he said.

“My main priority is to get back as soon as possible but I’m trying to be there to help the lads out all the way.”