SCOTT BROWN reckons it’s sink-or-swim time for Celtic as they prepare for the rigours of a monumental season.

The Hoops skipper equalled the phenomenal feat of club legends Billy McNeill, Jimmy Johnstone and Bobby Lennox by picking up a ninth successive championship medal last season.

Winger James Forrest also joined the greats at the end of a dramatic and traumatic campaign which was interrupted in mid-March by the coronavirus pandemic with Neil Lennon’s side leading the league by 13 points with only eight games to play.

The SPFL hierarchy, of course, duly awarded the ninth successive crown to the Parkhead side – the club’s 51st flag in their history – and now Brown and Co have set their sights on the record-breaking ten on the trot.

The players are gearing up in France as they prepare for the challenge and they have been set three tough tests in the shape of Nice this evening, Lyon on Saturday and Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

Brown, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “We’re getting chucked in at the deep end with these games – but it’s great. Usually, you step up the levels of opposition, but we’re going straight in against top teams.

“They will be good challenges, but everyone is just looking forward to competitive matches again.

“The European games will come quickly, but every game is hard. We’ll have to deal with one-off games and no fans, as well.

“It’ll be different, but we need to deal with it. We want to get to the Champions League and get off to a good start in the Premiership.”

The Hoops will kick off their quest for 10 consecutive flags on Premiership Flag Day against Hamilton Accies at Parkhead on Sunday, August 2.

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

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