Neil Lennon hails 'rascal' Scott Brown ahead of Hibernian vs Celtic clash
Last Updated: 11/12/17 3:34pm
Hibernian manager Neil Lennon believes Scott Brown has matured into a top midfield presence with Celtic and Scotland despite still being "a bit of a rascal".
Brown, who played under Lennon during his four-year tenure as Celtic boss, will play his 69th Champions League game against Anderlecht on Tuesday, breaking the Scottish record set by Kenny Dalglish.
The combative midfielder will then come face to face with his former manager on Sunday when Celtic, looking to preserve their 67-match unbeaten run, visit Easter Road along with the Sky Sports cameras.
Lennon said: "It's fantastic. He played brilliantly under Brendan he was fantastic under me. I think he's had a few injury problems but what he does have is a great appetite for the game he is a fantastic athlete in terms of covering the ground.
"His football is a lot better than maybe what outsiders might think and he handles the ball very well under pressure.
"What he does have is great leadership qualities which is much-maligned in the modern game.
"He's always had a bit of the rascal in him but he's really matured into this top all-round midfield player. You are seeing the best of him now again."
Hibs have made a promising start on their return to top-flight football and Lennon admits they have exceeded expectations as they sit fourth in the Premiership, one point behind Rangers and Aberdeen.
The Hibs head coach said: "You always want to go out and perform against the best teams.
"We went a goal down in the league game against Celtic and also in the semi-final and my players showed great character to come back and score two goals in both games.
"They know we can compete against the best and with us being at home, with a big crowd and game on TV, the players will be motivated.
"We all expect Celtic to probably kick on now but it is important for ourselves Aberdeen and Rangers to pick up points in that little second bracket of the division. I didn't think we would be as close to Aberdeen and Rangers as we are and now we have to make the most of that."
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