Scott Brown insists Celtic won’t have it easy
Celtic captain Scott Brown has admitted the Clydesdale Bank Premier League will feel different without Old Firm rivals Rangers but refuted claims his side will stroll to the title.
Newco Rangers had their application to join the top flight rejected last week and are still awaiting a decision as to whether they will enter the Irn-Bru First Division or the bottom tier of the Scottish Football League. Brown, 27, believes there will still be stern challenges ahead as Neil Lennon’s side look to defend their SPL title, highlighting the likes of Dundee United and Hearts as potential rivals.
“It will be a little bit different but, at the end of the day, we still have to go out there and play every game,” he told Celtic’s website. “It’s always hard playing at home and even harder going away to teams like Aberdeen and Hearts. We have to make sure we keep our form week in, week out. I think Dundee United could emerge as the main contenders. Hearts have released a lot of their players and Dundee United will take a lot of confidence from that.
“St Johnstone have pretty much the same squad just now as they did last season so I think they will be another strong force.”
Last season’s title success means Celtic will now enter the Champions League third qualifying round and Brown is hoping he can lead Celtic into the group stages. He said: “It would be great for the fans. Hearing the music and then all the fans cheering – you don’t get much bigger than that. They’re the best nights you can have at Celtic Park. It’s bigger than the derbies.”
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