Player of the Month Scott Brown feels he’s back to his best
SCOTT Brown believes he is performing at his optimum level for the first time in five seasons. The Celtic captain was named SPL Player of the Month for January yesterday, having been instrumental in his team’s impressive surge to the top of the table.
The 26-year-old midfielder has been troubled by ankle problems in recent years, the most recent of which sidelined him for two months earlier this season. But surgery has finally allowed Brown to play pain-free and recapture his most effective form.
“I probably last felt this good physically when I first signed for Celtic [in 2007],” he said. “I was injury free for the whole season. I was sharper, got a good run of games in and I felt fit. But then the injury was always there. No matter what happened, I couldn’t get rid of it. I went for an operation and it was still there, but once I got a screw put in it last time, everything has been ideal.
“Everyone in their career has a downturn. Coming back from ankle injury after ankle injury was quite hard. I’m not making excuses, because I still played and tried to give everything I had. I just wasn’t as sharp as I should have been. I should maybe have had a little more rest, but I was eager to come back and play.
“I feel brilliant now, touch wood. I just enjoy playing for this club. I enjoy the supporters, my team-mates and the manager. It’s a great place to be and I don’t think I’d want to be anywhere else.”
Celtic manager Neil Lennon’s faith in Brown has not always been replicated among the club’s support but he believes his captain is forcing many of his detractors to have second thoughts.
“You never please everybody all the time,” said Lennon. “Even in the team I played in here, people would have had their objections to myself or Alan Thompson, or Johan Mjallby, or Bobo Balde, or Chris Sutton – probably the only exception would have been Henrik Larsson. But I certainly think Scott is making people think again. In my interim period as manager, he was absolutely fantastic and you don’t lose that. He’s a great athlete and has been brilliant for us since he came back into the team.”