Scott Brown: Windsor Park no worse than Ibrox and Tynecastle

Scott Brown strolled through Celtic's Champions League second round qualifying tie agaisnt Linfield. Picture: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images
Scott Brown strolled through Celtic's Champions League second round qualifying tie agaisnt Linfield. Picture: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images
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Skipper Scott Brown was delighted to see Celtic fans at Windsor Park for the 2-0 Champions League qualifying win over Linfield on Friday night.

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The Parkhead club had refused their ticket allocation for the first leg of the second qualifying round match in Belfast due to security fears.

However, there were around 300 Hoops fans in the Kop stand, set aside for them in a half-full stadium, to see first-half goals from attacker Scott Sinclair and midfielder Tom Rogic give the Scottish champions a healthy lead for the return match at Celtic Park next week.

Brown told a number of broadcasters: “It was delightful to see the fans over. They were advised to stay away but they still came and it was great.

“No matter where we go, the Celtic fans are fantastic, they follow us everywhere, home and away, so it was fantastic to see them.

“The performance wasn’t that great but the main thing was we got the two goals.

“It was always going to be hard, they defended very deep, tried to make it hard for us but we got two early goals which helped.

“It is pre-season still for us. It is our first real main game and at least we got the win we were looking for and now we can take them back to Celtic Park.”

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However, the game was far from trouble-free.

Hoops striker Leigh Griffiths had a missile thrown at him after his corner had led to Sinclair’s opener in the 17th minute.

Curiously, Griffiths was booked by Spanish referee Alejandro Hernandez for presumably taking his time at a corner when objects again came his way with photographs revealing him to show at least one bottle to the official.

The Northern Irish champions have launched an investigation into events but Brown looked to play it all down, saying: “There was bottles and coins being thrown at him but we have to deal with that.

“We don’t worry about that, we just concentrate on what’s happening on the park.

“We have been to Tynecastle, Ibrox, it is like that all the time, it is part and parcel of football.”

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