SCOTT BROWN has revealed he enjoys his jousts with long-time ‘sparring partner’ Steven Naismith.

The rivals have been protagonists for many years and there have been some explosive confrontations since the Celtic skipper was signed by Gordon Strachan in a £440,000 deal from Hibs in the summer of 2007.

Naismith joined the Ibrox side from Kilmarnock at the same time before moving to Everton five years later following the Govan outfit’s financial meltdown and subsequent liquidation, The Scotland international switched to Norwich City in 2016 before crossing the border again to Hearts on an initial loan deal in January 2018.

That reignited the rivalry between the 34-year-old Hoops stalwart and the versatile Tynecastle man, 33, which as seen sparks fly.

In May 2018, Naismith was retrospectively hit with a two-game ban for a wayward challenge on Brown on the touchline during another frenzied confrontation in Edinburgh.

Despite the run-ins though, there is respect between the two combatants.

During a chat with Norwich captain Grant Hanley for Celtic sponsors Dafabet – who also back the Premier League side – Brown reflected on their face-to-face meetings and admitted: “Even playing against Naisy now, I just laugh because I moan a lot. However, Naisy is non-stop.

“During training, during games, anything. He’d moan that black is white and white is black.

“The two of us are getting deeper and deeper, so Naisy has gone from a striker to a no.10. The two of us are somehow marking each other and it’s literally non-stop the whole game. It’s ‘I’m coming for you’ or ‘he’s coming for me’.

“To be fair, it’s good because you know after the game straight away you shake hands and offski, but for 90 minutes we kick c**p out of other and moan at each other.

“We went and played in a golf competition together and the two of us were in the same team. So, it’s good to have that competition.

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