By: Paul Cuddihy on 21 Apr, 2017 17:01
SCOTT Brown is set to lead out Celtic at Hampden this Sunday in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup, and Brendan Rodgers is delighted that his captain will be available for what is a vital game as the Hoops aim to take a step closer to securing a domestic treble, having already won the Premiership title and the League Cup.
The Celtic midfielder was red-carded towards the end of last Sunday’s league clash with Ross County, but with the club appealing the decision, he is available for selection this weekend, and his presence in the heart of the Hoops midfield will be crucial.
Speaking ahead of the semi-final, the Celtic manager said: “It is really important that Scott is there as he is a real catalyst for the team. I didn’t think he should have been sent off last weekend. We challenged the red card because we felt that it was a yellow.
“Of course, I’m very happy Scott can play as he is a top-class player and he’s been brilliant this season.
“Scott has played over 50 games for me this season and he’s been absolutely brilliant. I’ll repeat, I do not think it was a red card. Yes, it was a challenge that was aggressive but the reaction at the time from after penalty has probably affected the referee, but I’ve no qualms about Scott.
“He’s played in countless, high-pressured games and his temperament this season has been first-class. Scott is the type of player that goes into the game at the weekend and looks to dominate like he always has, but in the main he’s kept it under control very well this season.
“Every game for Celtic is a pressure game. There’s always an onus on you going into every game and how the players have reacted to that with the number of games that they’ve gone unbeaten has been first-class.
“What they’ll do over the coming years is gain even more experience, so the bigger the games that we can have, the more experience they will get. You learn to cope better with those situations because you have to. You have to play football and you need to be able to perform in order to win and that’s something about my players that has made me very proud.”