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SCOTS COMEBACK? BROONY’S SHARP RESPONSE

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SCOTT BROWN delivered a short, sharp response to the question if he was contemplating coming out of international retirement when Scotland play in their first major tournament in 22 years in the summer.

“Nah,” answered the Celtic captain.”I’ve done my time.”

Brown will celebrate his 36th birthday while Steve Clarke’s men play in the Euro Championships which will kick off on June 14 with a game against the Czech Republic at Hampden, then there is an intriguing encounter against England at Wembley four days later with the final group match against Croatia in Glasgow on June 22.

Scotland made it through to the soccer extravaganza after their dramatic 5-4 penalty-kick shoot-out success over Serbia in Belgrade when ex-Celt David Marshall saved crucially at the end of the nerve-wracking sequence. The game ended 1-1 after extra-time following Ryan Christie’s superb opener for the Scots in the regulation 90 minutes.

The Hoops’ onfield leader was still at school when a massive contingent of seven players from the newly-crowned champions were involved when the Scots, then managed by Craig Brown, won through to the World Cup Finals in France in 1998.

Brown has missed out on performing at the highest interval level, but has no thoughts of attempting a comeback to play alongside the likes of colleagues Callum McGregor and Christie in the Euros.

After knocking back the answer about a sensational return, the midfield dynamo, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “It’s the other lads’ time now. They got there and were the ones who worked so hard over the past couple of years to make sure they qualified and they did it really well. Fair play to them.

“I’m just pleased for the boys as well as the whole country and all the fans.

“I had faith in David Marshall at the penalties. He’s been fantastic for Scotland and at all his clubs. He’s a great lad and he deserves every bit of credit for what he did.

“Eventually, I knew he was going to save one and he did it at just the right moment.

“It’s been a long time. I remember France ’98 well – everyone sitting around the house watching the games – and I know how much it means to the nation.

“I hope the whole vaccine thing comes through in time so all the fans can go down to Wembley, enjoy the game and get into the culture of the Euros.”

Brown applauded his team-mates McGregor, Christie, Leigh Griffiths and Greg Taylor who were all involved in Clarke’s squad for the eventful game in Belgrade.

He said: “They’ve come back with smiles on their faces. They’ve done extremely well.

“It’s been hard for them playing the 120 minutes, as well, but to get the win, it’s a lot of relief for themselves and the country.

“They’re in good form and so are the other lads who have been away on international duty. We’re looking forward to Saturday now, pushing on and getting back to playing the way we did against Motherwell the other week. In that first-half, we were exceptional.”

Scotland is on the back burner for the next four months. It’s all about the Premiership race and Brown, looking at this afternoon’s confrontation with his old club Hibs at Easter Road, added: “It’ll be an open game as both teams like to play football.

“We require these three points, so we need to concentrate on ourselves rather than worry about how Hibs or anyone else is going to play.

“We need to build on our performance at Motherwell, there was some great play and we scored some great goals.”

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

 
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