CELTIC hero Scott Brown insists his successor Callum McGregor is relishing the responsibility of being the captain at the champions.
The old warhorse quit Parkhead at the end of season 2020/21 when the team limped home without silverware for the first time in 11 years.
At the age of 35, Brown took the opportunity go into a player/coaching role with his former Hibs team-mate and long-time friend Stephen Glass at Pittodrie.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work as planned and the manager was fired in February last year after a Scottish Cup exit at Motherwell. St Mirren’s Jim Goodwin moved into the Pittodrie dug-out and the ex-Scotland skipper was on his way shortly afterwards.
HISTORY BHOYS…Callum McGregor and Scott Brown with the 2020 Scottish Cup to complete the phenomenal quadruple treble.
Brown, who was sacked by third-tier side Fleetwood Town at the start of last month after 16 months in charge, took advantage of his unexpected breather to recall the emergence of McGregor as a product of the club’s academy to the team’s onfield leader.
The £4.4million buy from Hibs by Gordon Strachan in the summer of 2007 reflected: “I wouldn’t say I held his hand, but I helped him through tough times when we both played together and now he’ll be doing the exact same to other lads.
“I’ve passed that on to him and he has shown his qualities as well, whether it’s Champions League or in games against Rangers and St Johnstone, he is that man everyone looks to make something happen.
“He’s always had that in his locker and he’s grown into it over the years. The expectation for being captain at Celtic has pushed his game on to another level.
“A lot of people could have gone under, but he’s controlled himself, understood the role and he’s relished the challenge.”
McGregor is poised to pick up his 57th Scotland cap – two more than the total amassed by Brown – in the friendly against France in Lille this evening.
GLORY BHOYS…Scott Brown holds aloft the 2019 League Cup as Callum McGrgeor, Jeremie Frimpong and Ryan Christie join in the Hampden celebrations.
And his one-time mentor is backing the 30-year-old Glaswegian to stack up the international appearances before he decides to call it a day.
Brown, speaking to The Herald, added: “He’s got a lot more left in him. It will be up to Callum and how his body is as well, but the wee man looks after himself as well and he is a top pro.
“He’s always worried about what’s next, what he can do to get better, and I think that’s the way you need to be these days. There are probably a few more games than when we played and we have the Nations League, as well, getting through that helps Scotland, which is huge.
“It’s all about him being there and being reliable and being that guy who wants to play for his county in every game.”