Brendan Rodgers: Scott Brown should say no to England game

Celtic captain Scott Brown has been urged by his manager Brendan Rodgers to sit out Scotland's World Cup match against England to rest for the Champions League.  Picture: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
Celtic captain Scott Brown has been urged by his manager Brendan Rodgers to sit out Scotland's World Cup match against England to rest for the Champions League. Picture: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
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Brendan Rodgers does not want Scott Brown to play for Scotland against England this summer as it will have an adverse effect on his preparations for next season’s Champions League qualifiers.

The Celtic manager is happy that Brown, who came out retirement last November to face the Auld Enemy at Wembley, has made himself available for the World Cup qualifier against Slovenia at Hampden on 26 March 26. However, he wants his captain to rest when the Scottish season finishes and not be involved in the return match with Gareth Southgate’s side which does not take place until 10 June.

With Champions League qualification to begin on 11 or 12, July Rodgers wants Brown to get as much rest as possible.

Rodgers said: “Scott knows my view on playing against England on June 10 and in terms of the longer term for him. He’s pivotal to what we are doing here.

“We’ve had a number of conversations about it and I think Scott is clear in his mind what he wants to do.

“His loyalty and support is with [Scotland manager] Gordon Strachan and he wants to help him the best he possibly can.

“We chat regularly. He’s been in brilliant form the whole season. He looks after his body, he looks after himself. If selected for the Slovenia game, as I’m sure he will be, they will be better for having him in there.

“Listen, he’s answering a duty to his country and he is an important leader and I can see why any manager would want him in their team.

“He’s a real top performer and has been since the first day I came in here” added Rodgers.

“But I think after this game he will probably sit and look at it and see where it’s at for a more definite period. I had a good chat with Gordon a few weeks back. I respect where Scott is at and why Gordon would want him to be here. Then let’s see what evolves over the next few months.”

Rodgers, meanwhile, indicated that a scan on winger James Forrest’s knee has revealed no serious damage after he sustained an injury in last Saturday’s 2-0 win over Hamilton but he won’t face Inverness tomorrow night.