FORMER Celtic skipper Scott Brown was mysteriously missing from the Aberdeen squad that played at Ibrox yesterday.

The 36-year-old midfielder, who quit Parkhead to join up with his ex-Hibs team-mate Stephen Glass as player/coach at Pittodrie in the summer, played 75 minutes of the Dons’ previous league game against Hearts.

However, Brown, who scored for the north-east outfit in their 2-2 draw in Govan earlier this season, wasn’t stripped for the meeting with Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side which was settled by a late winner from Kemar Roofe.

The veteran’s surprise absence further added to tales there had been a behind-the-scenes fall-out following the sacking of Glass who was replaced by Jim Goodwin a couple of weeks ago.

The former St Mirren gaffer moved to clear up the mystery and said: “There was no issue with Scott at all. He played on Wednesday night, his first game for a wee while after being out with a hamstring problem.

“He just had a wee bit of fatigue in his legs.

BYE, BYE, BAD BOY…Scott Brown waves farewell to Ryan Kent as the Ibrox winger is red-carded at Pittodrie in January. James Tavernier attempts to console his team-mate.

“We didn’t want to risk him with the chance of possibly breaking down and finding himself injured again.

“It was a sensible decision from the medical team, from Scott himself and from me.”

Goodwin fumed at referee John Beaton for allowing Roofe’s crucial goal to stand and he insisted Calvin Ramsay had been fouled in the build-up to the points-clincher.

The Dons chief, speaking to the Sunday Mail, added: “I’m extremely disappointed to take nothing from the game.

“I can’t let the goal go without talking about the foul on Ramsay in the build-up.

“The first cross that comes into the box from Tavernier, I think – Ramsay is at the back post about to head the ball and Calvin Bassey pushes him off the pitch.

“I thought that was a simple decision for the referee. From the next passage of play, the ball ends up in the back of our net.

“I think we deserved a 0-0. Rangers won’t have enjoyed that 90 minutes as we didn’t make life easy for them.”

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

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