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JEER WE GO, BROONIE!

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CELTIC skipper Scott Brown was happy to hit the Hogmanay boos at Ibrox.

The 31-year-old onfield Hoops leader ran his usual gauntlet of hate as he proved inspirational yet again in the destruction of Mark Warburton’s faltering outfit, now 19 points behind the champions.

Brown provoked the ire of the home support when he was booked for a thumping challenge on James Tavernier in the opening 20 minutes in Govan.

There is little doubt referee Steven McLean wouldn’t have hesitated in issuing a red if the midfielder overstepped the mark for a second time.

However, Brown composed himself to turn in another lung-bursting 90 minutes as he led by example, continually urging his team-mates to dominate possession and steadily work towards Wes Fodeingham.

Undoubtedly, the major factor in the captain’s measured and calculating displays in an exciting campaign come from Brendan Rodgers.

Brown acknowledged the Irishman’s influence and said: “What I really like is just how positive he is. He wants you to get better, he wants you to be the best you can be and he has his ideas and philosophies about how to do that.

“I can’t speak highly enough of him. He has been brilliant with me, from our very first meeting to now. But it isn’t just me. You can see his influence throughout the whole team.

“The signings he made in the summer have come in and made a really big impression, but what he has also done is really get the best out of the players who were already here.

“I am really enjoying my football. I don’t have any pain, I am not playing with injuries or taking pain killers to get through games and I don’t think you can underestimate that.

“It is well documented that last season I was playing with tendonitis which wasn’t ideal. But this season, I have felt really fit and fresh from the start of pre-season training.

“I got a good summer under my belt which sets you up and, to be honest, I haven’t looked back.”

Kieran Tierney made a sensational breakthrough last season under Ronny Deila, but an ankle and shoulder injury have kept the player out of action since November.

The teenage left-back is on course to return in the second half of the season as Celtic zero in on the domestic treble.

Brown added: “Any team would miss Kieran. He loves a tackle and his ability to produce is there for all to see. The last three or four months of the season before he got injured he was really on top of his game and I am sure that he will be itching to get back in and pick up where he left off.

“In saying that, I think you have to give full marks to Emilio Izaguirre, as well. He has come in after not playing for a while.

“He has been calm and he has brought that experience that he possesses back into the team.

“He is a Honduran international player and I think you can see what he offers. It’s good for the gaffer to know that he has two top players fighting for the shirt. That can only be beneficial to the team.”

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