CELTIC captain Scott Brown will not face any disciplinary action from the club as a result of a newspaper report and images allegedly showing him drunk on a night out in Edinburgh just four days before the League Cup final.
Brown will lead out the Scottish champions as normal for tomorrow’s Hampden showdown with Dundee United.
Celtic are making no comment about the story in The Scottish Sun, which was accompanied by photographs showing Brown slumped on a pavement and eating fast food. But it is understood the club are unperturbed by the report, which concerned the midfielder’s movements on a social outing with friends on Wednesday night.
The Celtic first-team squad were on a day off on Thursday and reported back to training at Lennoxtown yesterday where Brown took a full part in the session.
Celtic manager Ronny Deila has regularly spoken this season of his demands that his players become “24-hour athletes” and was critical of their overall fitness and conditioning earlier in the campaign when he banned fast food and fizzy drinks from the menu at their training centre.
Just two weeks ago, 29-year-old Brown was held up by Deila as an example to the rest of the squad for his approach to training.
“Scott Brown is doing it every day,” said Deila. “He is so strong, unbelievably strong. Why? Because he has done this for many years, he works really hard every single day and he looks after himself.”
Striker Anthony Stokes was disciplined by Deila last month when he left the Irish international out of his squad for the first leg of the Europa League tie against Inter Milan after the player had returned to training a day late following a trip home to Dublin.
While the images of Brown are clearly an unwelcome distraction for Deila, he remains firmly focused on his attempt tomorrow to win his first piece of silverware as Celtic manager. “It’s a huge game,” said Deila.
“It was one of our targets before the season and one of our goals and we can achieve it.
“We’re 90 minutes, hopefully, from a trophy. I hate losing. I’ve lost one cup final in my life and it’s maybe the worst thing I’ve done
“So we will do everything we can to produce a good performance and that’s the only thing we can be sure of.
“If Dundee United beat us then it will be easier to accept it but, if we play badly and lose, then that’s the worst thing.
“But I know that, if we play well, we’ve got the quality in the team to win the game and that’s the target.
“I feel calm. There have been so many big games now in the last months that we’ve just been getting on with the next one, but this is something we can finish now and reach one of our goals.
“I know when Sunday comes I’ll be feeling nervous and excited, but we just have to prepare the way we have for other big games we have played.”
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