Wednesday 20 March 2019

Rodgers hails Brown as Celtic's Gerrard

(l-r) Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers and Scott Brown. Pic: PA
(l-r) Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers and Scott Brown. Pic: PA

Celtic skipper Scott Brown has the same effect on domestic opponents as former England captain Steven Gerrard, according to Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers.

Ahead of the Scottish champions' trip to Hearts in the Ladbrokes Premiership tomorrow (live Sky Sports Football, kick-off 12.30pm), Jambos' 16-year-old midfielder Harry Cochrane looked forward to coming up against Brown, twice his age, saying: "I've been watching him since I was a young boy so that would be something special."

Rodgers worked with Gerrard at Liverpool and he made favourable comparisons with the former Kop midfielder and Brown, whom he claimed had bossed fellow Scotland international John McGinn in last weekend's 2-2 draw with Hibernian at Easter Road.

"Browny always invites that because of the type of player he is," said the Northern Irishman, who revealed Australia midfielder Tom Rogic would be out until the new year with a knee problem.

"I seen it over many years, seen it working with Steven Gerrard. Every player that came up against Steven would raise their game 10 to 15 per cent because they are up against a top player and Browny has the same up here.

"Every week, every player who comes up against him knows how good he is so they always see it as a real test.

"Whether is it the young guy at Hearts or some of the other players, Browny faces that every week. "That's why it's remarkable how well Scott Brown has done here because of the challenge he has had for the last 10-plus years from everyone that he is up against.

"So yes, good players will always invite that and it is great that the young guy has that ambition to want to do well."

Rodgers believes Craig Levein, who had been director of football at Tynecastle when he replaced Ian Cathro as boss in August, should be praised for promoting from within his youth squad. He said: "When they were looking for a manager Hearts were very sensible in putting in someone like Craig with his experience."

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