SCOTT BROWN has dismissed wild accusations Celtic players are not giving 100 per cent for boss Neil Lennon.
The 35-year-old Hoops skipper, who is due to lead the team against Sparta Prague in the Czech Republic tonight, thinks the innuendo is way over the top – and the team will emerge victorious once again.
Brown, speaking to the Daily Record, insisted: “Everyone’s playing for the manager. He has been fantastic.
“I want to win every game, every trophy that I’m involved in. It’s part of who I am, it’s part of who the manager is.
“He tries to instil a winning mentality in everyone. It’s a long season and people have to remember that. We have to start digging deep, performing well, scoring goals and defending as a team.
“We need to do it for the manager. He’s had a great playing career here, he’s had great success as manager here.
“It’s Celtic. As soon as you drop one point, there is always someone out there who knows exactly what formation you need to play.
“We need to keep proving the doubters wrong.
“We’ve done it before, had nine fantastic seasons and we’re in a Scottish Cup Final, as well. We just need to make sure that now we start focusing on the Europa League and we start winning.”
Brown continued: “We’re all together. We’re 100 per cent behind the manager. Everyone’s got an opinion they can put on Twitter or put on banners. Social media now is extremely harmful to teams if you lose a couple of points.
“You don’t read too much, don’t go on Instagram and Twitter too much. You just worry about what’s happening in the building and make sure everything stays in the building.
“We’ve got to be bigger, better and focus on ourselves. We don’t worry about what’s happening outside.
“Everyone is welcome to their own opinion. Speaking to a lot of the fans out and about, they’re all behind us.
“Those are the fans we need to keep impressing and keep performing for, keep going out there and working hard for.
“Our fans have been fantastic over the 14 years I’ve been here. I’m sure once we get them back [into stadiums]they’ll be supporting us.
“We’re all strong enough to deal with the criticism. It’s not always going to be nice and plain sailing. There are going to be ups and downs.
“Everyone wants to put us down just now. The lads are sticking together through it
“We’re working to get those great times back extremely quickly.”
The club’s onfield leader added: “There’s pressure on our shoulders at Celtic to be successful, but that’s a pressure everyone should thrive on.
“There are a lot of people writing us off. That’s when you want to come back.
“Everyone keeps writing me off and I keep wanting to come back, show everyone. Most of the lads have got that mentality. Our aim is to show that we can perform better.
“The performances have been up and down. We can’t keep using the same excuses. We have to make sure we get a good performance in Prague going into Ross County on Sunday and try to get that momentum going now.
“I get this motivation every year. Celtic’s a big club. We expect success. We need to make sure we do it on the park.”
That fightback for form will kick off at 5.55pm in the Europa League Group H clash against a Sparta Prague team who eased to a 4-1 victory over a Hoops team that blundered through a shambolic display at Parkhead only three weeks ago.
The European adventure is almost certainly over for another season after only one point from a possible nine after a 3-1 loss to AC Milan in Glasgow and a 2-2 draw with Lille in France in the other outings.
Brown and Co are playing to restore pride on this occasion – and to emphasise their support of their under-fire manager.
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Sparta Prague v Celtic this evening – only in your champion CQN.