Celtic captain Scott Brown has admitted that he’ll accept being benched due to the respect he has for manager Neil Lennon.
Brown has struggled early doors this season as his performance levels appear to have taken a dip. He was at fault for Livingston’s second goal at Parkhead in Saturday’s 3-2 win, and has generally had slower reactions to key situations this year.
Despite that, Lennon has started him in every single competitive match so far this season. The Hoops boss discussed his captain’s place in the team yesterday and admitted that he’ll start resting him more often (Scottish Sun).
And Brown, speaking earlier on today, has admitted he’ll effectively do whatever he’s told as he put his faith in the manager’s decision-making.
As quoted by STV News, Brown said: “It’s up to the manager. As I said at the start of the season, he picks the starting XI and squad week in, week out. Sometimes he might think I need a rest. Or others might need a rest like it was with Odsonne [Edouard] at the weekend, because he’s had a lot of games and been away with France.
“That’s up to the manager. He picks the best team for each game depending on form, how people are feeling, little niggles and things like that.
“I’ve got great respect for the manager so whoever he picks we all stand by.”
A player who knows his role
We all knew Brown would take the idea well and without any hint of a complaint or rebuttal. That’s the consummate professional that he is coming out in him.
For Celtic, it’s great to see that the captain is willing to be dropped when the manager feels it’s necessary. That should lead to more consistent opportunities for the likes of David Turnbull and Ismaila Soro as the season rolls on.
All eyes will now be fixated on Neil Lennon’s team selection for both Thursday and Sunday’s games vs Riga and Hibs respectively. Those read as matches in which the manager needs to rotate to keep things fresh.
Brown will almost definitely start in Latvia. That’s the one thing that’s undoubted – Lennon will always play him in big matches. Resting him will be all about getting him to peak condition for the high-intensity games.
Hibs would normally fall into that latter category, but surely the Hoops would be more refreshed with a Turnbull in there instead? A player who must be absolutely itching to make his mark.
Lennon has effectively confirmed there will be some rotation moving forward, and he now has Brown’s backing. Now let’s see if these comments are backed up with action in the coming weeks.