23 Jan Manager hails 400 not out Brown
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers feels Scott Brown’s professionalism will ensure he plays a lot more than 400 games for the club as the midfielder gets set for a landmark appearance.
Brown will make it four centuries of Celtic appearances if he plays in Wednesday’s Ladbrokes Premiership encounter with St Johnstone, which could see the champions go 22 points clear at the top.
The 31-year-old is in his 10th season at Celtic Park and quickly won over Rodgers when the former Liverpool boss took charge last summer.
Rodgers said: “It’s a remarkable achievement by a top-class professional.
“I didn’t know that’s what it was but to play that number of games at a club this size, your professionalism, your enthusiasm, your energy for the game and your commitment to being a top professional has to be there.
“I’ve said it on many occasions since I walked in the door here and my general first impressions on him have been very, very positive.
“And he’s a remarkable leader. I have to say, working with him on a day to day basis, the players in the changing room take a great lead from him.
“He’s at the very front from the very first steps we make on the training field, the warm-up, right from the very, very start he sets an incredible example.
“He shows a great example to the other players and he is playing at the top of his game this season. So 400 would be great for him but I think there is quite a few more to come as well.”
Meanwhile, Rodgers is hopeful he will bring in a player before next week’s transfer deadline.
Celtic have been linked with 19-year-old Nigerian winger Henry Onyekuru, with reports in Africa quoting the player as declaring that the Scottish champions have made an official bid to his club, Belgian side KAS Eupen.
Rodgers, whose first January signing Kouassie Eboue is not ready to face St Johnstone, said: “I didn’t want to bring in too many but we have an option that we could get over the line. We will wait and see on that one.
“It’s about slowly building the squad. The squad has been outstanding in their work over the first six months so we want to just keep adding to it to help the players that are already here.
“There will maybe be one or two that will go out on a loan basis as well, so there will probably be both ways. I suspect there will be some change in the squad before the window.”
Leigh Griffiths is back in training after missing Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup win over Albion Rovers with a tight calf, while Mikael Lustig will be monitored after going off at half-time.
“He had a stiff back and as a precaution we took him off,” Rodgers said. “Playing on the astroturf, it just provokes a wee bit more out of some players than others. So we will see how he is, he is still a bit stiff.”