Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths says Scott Brown is “devastated” after being given the news he’ll be sidelined for up to three months with knee ligament damage.
Brown suffered the injury during the weekend clash with Kilmarnock and will be sidelined for a number of games including both Europa League group games against Ajax and Fenerbahce.
“He’s devastated,” Griffiths said of the Celtic skipper. “It’s a blow for him and the team but we’ve got a lot of players who can play in that position and whoever plays in there tomorrow has a tough job to do.
“He’s a leader and he’s the captain of the club and country you don’t get that if you don’t have grit, determination and a willingness to win and he’s got that in abundance.”
Griffiths says the team are desperate to atone for their double disappointment against Molde by beating Ajax on Thursday.
The Hoops were beaten home and away by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men but can still qualify with victories over Ajax and Fenerbahce.
“It’s a big name coming to Celtic Park we know what the atmosphere is going to be like and we need to be right at them from the off,” he said.
“The last two games were disappointing against Molde but we’ve got a chance to rectify that.
“It’s still in our own hands if we don’t perform then we aren’t going to go through but if we give ourselves a good chance of getting three points tomorrow then we go to Fenerbahce with a lot of confidence.
“We’ve got players who can expose their weaknesses in behind. We’ve been leaking goals so far and ultimately we need to keep a clean sheet to go through.
“I wouldn’t fancy anybody that’s coming here of their chances when Celtic Park is rocking and the fans are right behind us.”
Griffiths says the experience of playing in the last-32 of the competition last season has whetted the appetite for more of the same.
“Last year when we got through Inter Milan came to town.
“We really enjoyed that the manager stressed to us that we want more of that after Christmas and that’s the ultimate goal.”