Celtic latest: Neil Lennon braced for Scott Brown ban

Celtic interim manager Neil Lennon has prepared for the possibility of captain Scott Brown missing tomorrow’s Premiership match against Kilmarnock but insists he will still be taken aback if the midfielder receives a ban from the Scottish FA.

Captain Scott Brown may miss Celtic's next two games. Picture: SNS,
Captain Scott Brown may miss Celtic's next two games. Picture: SNS,

Brown faces a disciplinary hearing at Hampden today after being issued with a notice of complaint for improper conduct at the Old Firm fixture at Celtic Park on 31 March.

The charge against the 33-year-old midfielder is understood to relate to his celebrations immediately after Celtic’s 2-1 win when he appeared to gesture at the small contingent of Rangers fans in a corner of the stadium.

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Celtic have vowed to “vigorously defend” Brown at today’s hearing which was brought forward from its original date of 2 May at their request. If Brown does receive the potential two-match suspension a guilty verdict could bring, it means he would now be free to return to action for the final Old Firm game of the season at Ibrox on 12 May.

Lennon remains hopeful the complaint will be dismissed by the disciplinary tribunal but is ready nonetheless to be without his captain against Kilmarnock tomorrow and Aberdeen at Pittodrie next weekend as the champions try to close out an eighth consecutive title win.

“We’ve been discussing it so we’ll have a contingency in place for Saturday’s game,” said Lennon. “I’d be surprised if Scott gets banned but if he does we’ll have something lined up for that. I’m not going to pre-empt anything ahead of the hearing but I’d be surprised if he got a ban for what people are accusing him of.”

Lennon, meanwhile, is awaiting results of Kieran Tierney’s visit to a specialist to assess ongoing calf and pelvic problems. The left-back could be ruled out for the rest of Celtic’s triple-treble chasing season and also miss Scotland’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Cyprus and Belgium in June.

“We’ll know more on Friday,” said Lennon. “Kieran hasn’t trained with us this week and saw the specialist today [Thursday]. So he will be a doubt for Saturday at the very least.”