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RODGERS HAILS BROWN AS ‘MOST INFLUENTIAL PLAYER’

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BRENDAN RODGERS has hailed Scott Brown as the most influential player in Scotland.

The Celtic skipper has been cleared to play against Sevco Rangers in tomorrow’s final Premiership meeting between the sides at Ibrox.

Brown was shown a straight red card for a robust challenge on Ross County’s Liam Boyce during the explosive finale to the Dingwall confrontation that erupted after nonsensical decision by ropey ref Don Robertson to award the Highlanders a late penalty-kick in the 2-2 draw.

The 31-year-old midfielder was able to play in last Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final win over the Govan outfit as the closure of the SFA offices on Easter Monday meant no appeal could be heard beforehand.

Now, having had his red downgraded to a booking for “recklessly dangerous play” at yesterday’s hearing, he will be able to face Pedro Caixinha’s team for a second successive weekend.

He will miss the next two league games against St Johnstone and Aberdeen as he has crossed the disciplinary points threshold.

Rodgers believes he could have coped without his onfield leader tomorrow had the appeal failed, but feels his side are simply a different proposition when Brown is playing.

Looking at last week’s 2-0 triumph, the Hoops gaffer said: “He was tactically brilliant, how he operated in the spaces and filled gaps.

“I came up here and people talked about his passing ability. He made two disguised passes through the eye of a needle and you don’t do that unless you have top quality.”

Earlier this week, Patrick Roberts claimed Brown deserved to have his red changed to a yellow, basing it on the fact Andy Halliday’s wild tackle on the on-loan winger on Sunday was only deemed worthy of a caution.

Asked about the Ibrox midfield man’s lunge, Rodgers said: “I think he (Roberts) was very, very lucky.

“Thankfully, he saw it coming out the corner of his eye. If he’s planted then it’s a broken leg. 

“At the speed he was going in, that was reckless. It wasn’t a good challenge at all and I think everybody saw that.”

 
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