Brown enjoys Diouf 'banter'
Scott Brown insists his on-field rivalry with El-Hadji Diouf is nothing more than 'friendly banter'.
Last Updated: 01/04/11 3:36pm
Celtic skipper Scott Brown insists his on-field battles with Rangers striker El-Hadji Diouf are nothing more than 'friendly banter'.
Brown celebrated his equaliser in the Scottish Cup fifth-round clash at Ibrox in February by standing with his arms outstretched in front of Diouf, after the duo had exchanged words for much of the game.
But the Senegal forward got his own back with similar antics while grasping the Co-operative Insurance Cup after the Light Blues' 2-1 extra-time victory over Celtic in the final at Hampden last month.
It all adds further spice, if any were needed, to the seventh Old Firm game of the season after the Scottish Premier League splits in two.
However, Brown played down apparent tensions between him and Diouf in particular, and the two sides in general.
"It's friendly banter," the Scotland midfielder said.
"Whatever happens on the park stays on the park. The Old Firm games have been great. It will be a record seven games this season.
"There is one more to go and I'm looking forward to it. The more the merrier."
SPL leaders Celtic travel to Inverness on Saturday looking to keep their two-point advantage over Rangers, who have played a game less.
Brown believes the side with the most "bottle" will emerge triumphant at the end of the title race and admits the sight of the Rangers players celebrating at Hampden will be used as motivation.
"It's always going to be tight," he said. "There is a lot of pressure on us and a lot of pressure on them as well so, at the end of the day, it's about who has got the bottle to go and win the league.
"We got beat in the final and we don't want that to happen again.
"We saw Rangers celebrating and it wasn't nice. We spoke about that in the changing room but we have to get on with it.
"There are two more trophies remaining and we want them. We have to make sure the cup defeat is out of everyone's mind.
"We can't go into the game on Saturday being depressed and feeling sorry for ourselves, we have to get right back into it."