Lennon offers Brown backing
Neil Lennon has no worries about Scott Brown after Rangers' Kyle Bartley singled out the Celtic skipper.
By Pete O'Rourke - Follow me on Twitter @skysportspeteo
Last Updated: 01/03/11 5:03pm
Neil Lennon has no worries about Scott Brown after Rangers defender Kyle Bartley singled out the Celtic skipper ahead of Wednesday's Scottish Cup replay between the two sides.
Brown has clashed with El-Hadji Diouf in recent Old Firm derbies and on-loan Arsenal youngster Bartley, who was deemed lucky only to be booked three minutes into his Old Firm debut last week for a foul on the Scotland midfielder, rekindled the fire again at the weekend.
Bartley said: "Not many people at Rangers get on with Scott Brown and I'm not his biggest fan so we will see what happens in the next game."
Lennon has shrugged off the comments and insists he has no plans for a pep talk with his skipper.
"He doesn't need me to say anything to him," said Lennon. "Scotty can look after himself and he has proved that this season.
"There will be no special talk about that.
"Players know that discipline is important in these games but they should relish the challenge."
HungerLennon has challenged his players to bounce back from their weekend defeat at Motherwell and show the form they displayed in last month's 3-0 win over Rangers in their last meeting.
"It is only 10 days ago so it will be fresh in their minds," added Lennon. "I want to see that hunger again.
"There was an intensity to their play that wasn't really evident on Sunday.
"So we are looking for a positive reaction. After every negative result you are looking for a return to form.
"The players didn't do themselves justice at Motherwell and they know that.
"The general feeling from them was they had let themselves down. They will want to go out there and do better.
"They have been fantastic the last couple of months so I won't be over critical."
Celtic will be without the suspended duo of Fraser Forster and Joe Ledley but Lennon has no qualms about bringing in No.2 keeper Lukasz Zaluska and Beram Kayal for Ledley in midfield after the Israeli international was banned for the Motherwell defeat.
Backing"It is a new keeper but he is a good keeper," continued Lennon.
"He has shown a lot of good form recently in training. I have no qualms about him playing tomorrow night.
"It will be a reshuffle in midfield but not much, we have good players in those positions.
"We probably missed Kayal on Sunday because he has been in fantastic form and he will be in contention for a place, no doubt about it."