Scott Brown: Don't worry about me - we must come out fighting for Celtic boss
Scott Brown says the Celtic squad need to come out swinging for their manager Neil Lennon at Motherwell on Sunday.
A defeat at Fir Park would not only leave the Scottish champions with one win in seven following the excruciating capitulation that resulted in a 4-1 filleting at home to Sparta Prague in Thursday’s Europa League encounter. It would also send Lennon closer to the canvas as conjecture swirls over his position with Rangers currently holding a nine-point advantage in a title campaign on which Celtic’s fervent hopes of an historic 10th straight championship rest.
The Celtic captain maintains he and his team-mates have a duty to pay back Lennon over the 49-year-old being required to take a number of hefty hits over a series of poor displays in the course of a largely misfiring season.
“We have to make sure we have a huge performance on Sunday,” he said. “We owe that to the manager. He’s always there fighting for us, taking the heat for us. But now it’s our turn to take the heat for him, and we have to come out fighting for him.”
Brown admits it is perplexing that Celtic have become a soft touch in conceding 14 goals in their past six games. “It’s not been something that we’ve been used to, but it is what it is,” he said. “Now we can’t worry about what has happened in the past. We need to kick on, look into the future, start playing as quickly as possibly and we keep clean sheets. We work extremely hard, the coaches and everyone puts sessions on for us, and we just don’t seem to be doing it together as a team so there are no excuses.
"We need to start defending as a team - and that goes from the front all the way through to the back. We have to make sure we do what we did last year, especially the second part of the season when we came really good. But we can’t rely on the second part of the season coming because who knows what’s going to happen in the future.”
Brown isn’t defensive over the scrutiny his position in the Celtic side has come under. He was withdrawn on the hour mark in the Sparta slaying dismantling and, at 35, questions have been raised over his ability to contribute as effectively as he has for so much of his 13 trophy-laden years in Celtic colours.
“Don’t worry about me, I just keep going on,” he said. “If the manager needs me, I’m there for him. If he needs to rest me, if he needs to play someone else, then I’m old enough and ugly enough to deal with it. I do whatever’s best for this team. I just worry about the team performance, it is not about individuals that people like to come after. For us it is all about us sticking together, not listening to the media, not listening to anything else, just worrying about ourselves.”
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.