Scott Brown sends a message to Celtic hopefuls

Celtic midfielder Scott Brown has laid down the gauntlet for the Hoops’ fringe players, telling them to take their chance to impress in the remaining three games to put themselves in contention of featuring in the Scottish Cup final, reports the Daily Record.

Brendan Rodgers’ side face Motherwell at Hampden Park on May 19 and are big favourites to come out on top, having beaten them in November’s League Cup final. The Steelmen are currently seventh in the table, 36 points worse off than Celtic, having picked up just one win from their last seven. They may struggle to match the Bhoys.

With Celtic sealing the Scottish Premiership title over the weekend, there could be changes made to the first-team, to allow the fringe players game time before the season comes to a close. Rodgers could rest his key players to avoid risking injury in dead-rubber fixtures.

The Hoops have three league games remaining – Hearts (away) on May 6, Kilmarnock (home) on May 9 and Aberdeen (home) on May 13 – before they face Motherwell next month, and Brown has told his teammates to make the most of the opportunity if they’re given a run-out before mid-May.

“There is a lot more time for us now to focus in training. You usually get weeks between games now, so we can work on tactics more, work on how we’re going to press teams.

 “Sometimes when it’s Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday, it’s hard to get consistency in training, to work on our formation and style of play.

 “There are places up for grabs in a cup final now, so everyone will be wanting a chance and I’m sure the gaffer will rest a couple here and there.

 “It’s all about our willingness to win now, to keep producing that form every week. We have a few hard games coming up, so we need to stay on it.”

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Crippy Cooke

Crippy can be found on Twitter (@CrippyCooke) He is a sports journalist who has written for the Independent, Bleacher Report, Huffington Post, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph among others. Crippy treats football gossip with a dash of cynicism and loves tearing apart outlandish rumours.