CELTIC skipper Scott Brown insists he and Nadir Ciftci have “automatic mutual respect” now that they are team-mates.

The pair clashed during a couple of fiery encounters last season when Ciftci, 23, was with Dundee United.

Brown, 30, admits the pair have been the subject of dressing room “banter” since Ciftci arrived in Glasgow last week after his £1.3million move from the Tannadice outfit.

The midfielder said: “You have run-ins with people because they’re good players.

“You need to get in people’s head and, hopefully, they don’t play. I think that’s what I try to do and we were delighted that he came here so I don’t need to keep playing against him.

“Everyone’s been winding us up. As soon as you go to the team, though, it’s automatic mutual respect.

“He’s come in and done really well. He’s worked hard and looks a threat over the top and holding the ball into feet as well.

“He’s got the strength that we’ve sometimes been lacking up front.”

Brown agrees with his manager Ronny Deila’s assertion that getting into the group stages of this season’s Champions League would represent success for the club.

Last term, Celtic were knocked out in qualifying by Maribor and played in the Europa League group stage, reaching the last 32 of that competition.

The all-action onfield leader had previously led the side out on Champions League nights, including their last 16 appearance in 2013.

He added: “There are always nerves in the background going into Champions League qualifiers because it’s such a big occasion for the club.
“It’s where we want to be and it’s where we should be.”

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