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BROONY HAILED: A MAN FOR ALL REASONS

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SCOTT BROWN has put his future on hold to focus on Celtic’s charge towards a tenth successive title.

Assistant boss John Kennedy reckons the inspirational skipper could play on for another season – but the team’s selfless onfield leader has not even discussed a new deal with his focus solely on the championship.

Brown, who cost £4.4million when he arrived from Hibs in 2007, is in the final six months of his contract and has put a decision about his career hopes on hold for the time being.

Undoubtedly, things will be settled before his 36th birthday in June, but that is not the model professional’s priority at the moment as the team face an almighty battle to clinch another flag.

Neil Lennon has a decision to make before tonight’s rearranged fixture against Hibs at Parkhead, but whether the captain is on the pitch or in the stand, he will be solidly behind the Hoops.

Kennedy, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “Does he have another year in him? I think he might have. It will be Scott’s decision.

“He’ll know exactly how he feels as the season progresses. With all players at that age, there’s no rush to look six months ahead or even think about it.

“Scott’s had a fantastic career and he’ll continue to do so this season and then review it as time goes on.

“In terms of where he’s at, Scott has never missed a training session, he has been exemplary in the way he looks after himself and his behaviour – and he’s still an important figure for us

“I’ve spoken to Scott and I know he’s spoken to people at the club in terms of beyond the season.

“But his focus is very much on the here and now. We have a challenge on our hands and he wants to meet it head on.”

The emergence of Ivorian anchorman Ismaila Soro, who cost £2million when he arrived a year ago, has seen Brown drop out of the starting eleven for a few of the recent games although he was the man the manager turned to for the crucial Scottish Cup Final against Hearts last month when the club sealed the phenomenal quadruple treble.

Kennedy acknowledge the benefit of being in a position to rotate the pair to ease some of the pressure on the veteran.

He added: “That gives us that option now. Playing 60 games a season is difficult for anyone, but especially at Scott’s age.

“He wants to do that, as that’s the mentality he has.

“It gives us the option of changing it around at times. Scott will still be an important character for us, whether it’s in big games or even just around the place.

“He and Soro are now battling it out, but credit to Scott, he has been first class whether he has been involved in the games or not.

“He’s a massive influence around the squad and has a massive part to play.”

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Hibs this evening – only in your champion CQN.

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