22 February 2021

Scott Brown not looking past next game amid possible Rangers Parkhead coronation

22 February 2021

Scott Brown refused to look beyond the instant chance for Celtic to bounce back from their latest defeat after the prospect of Rangers clinching the title at Parkhead heightened.

A second defeat by Ross County this season left Celtic 18 points adrift of the Scottish Premiership leaders with eight games remaining.

If that gap stays as it is, and even if Celtic cut the deficit to 13 in the next two matches, Rangers will have the opportunity to end their long wait for a major trophy at the home of their rivals on March 21.

Rangers could even clinch the title the previous weekend and  arrive at Celtic Park as newly-crowned champions if the gap was any bigger.

Celtic next host Aberdeen on Saturday before facing Dundee United at Tannadice, while Rangers have Livingston and St Mirren to play before going for their third derby triumph of the season.

Brown said: “We take it one game at a time. We look forward to playing next week and have got to focus on that game and make sure we are ready.

“The gaffer has got to make sure he has got the best team out there possible and we have got to make sure we get a result and get back to winning ways as quickly as possible.

“That’s what this club is all about and this season has not been great for us to be perfectly honest and that performance probably does sum up our season. Played not too bad throughout the 90 minutes and lose 1-0.”

The midfielder quickly ended the interview as soon as the prospect of Rangers winning the title at Celtic Park was mentioned.

It is a scenario that will chill Celtic fans, who had anticipated history being made this season as their team went for a record 10th consecutive title. The ultimate insult would be seeing Rangers celebrate on their own turf but it is a plot twist largely in keeping with Celtic’s nightmare season.

Skipper Brown fronted up to the latest episode in a campaign that has gone from bad to worse.

Celtic had chances, notably an astonishing miss from Ryan Christie, but failed to make the most of their superior possession and conceded from Jordan White’s free header following a 71st-minute free-kick.

Brown said: “We are going to miss chances, every team misses chances. But we need to create a few more chances as well. We need to play better, make sure the final ball is spot-on and put it on a plate for someone.

“We kept the ball but it wasn’t clear-cut chances that were falling for us, it was half-chances. We maybe didn’t do enough in the final third to say we deserved to win the game.

“And another set-play. I thought we defended quite well throughout the game but it’s those small margins in football, when you lose concentration for three or four seconds and the big man has got a header at the back post and gets a run on the lads. It’s been throughout our whole season.”

The 35-year-old added: “It’s always a hard game in Dingwall. At the start of the season we didn’t play too well and won 5-0. We would take that rather than keeping the ball, playing nice football and not scoring goals, and losing a goal to a set-play. That has pretty much been our season to be perfectly honest.

“We go two, three, four, five wins and then a defeat and that’s hard to take. That’s not Celtic, that’s not us.”

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