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Neil Lennon has same mentality as Jurgen Klopp, says Scott Brown

The Celtic captain has praised his team’s ability to recover from major setbacks and stay focussed on making history.

Scott Brown believes Lennon has instilled a Liverpool-type mentality into Celtic.
Scott Brown believes Lennon has instilled a Liverpool-type mentality into Celtic.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

ON THE FACE of it, comparing Neil Lennon to Jurgen Klopp is a bit fanciful. One manager has won the Champions League and is set to end a 30-year title famine; the other inherited a dominant side and has kept them on top.

Yet Scott Brown, the Celtic captain, had a point yesterday when he drew the link between the two. On either side of the English/Scottish border, you have two teams charging towards a championship, each reflective of their managers’ personalities.

Each have also encountered setbacks in the last week, Celtic losing to Copenhagen in the Europa League, Liverpool losing three games on the spin after their remarkable start to this season.

That’s where Brown sees the similarities. Just before the Scottish winter break, Celtic were beaten by Rangers, who for the first time in nearly a decade had the upper hand in the title race. Since then, Steven Gerrard’s side have fallen apart, and Celtic have opened up a 12-point lead.

You know how good Liverpool are and how well they have done this season,” Brown said. “They’ve not said once they’re going to win the league and that says it all about their mentality. Their manager has drilled it into them about taking one step at a time and that’s also what our manager has drilled in to us.

“We have a big lead but is the league done? Not at all. There’s a long way to go and football is a crazy world. We just need to make sure we keep ticking them off game by game and playing as well as we can. We’ve been miles ahead and miles behind in the past and it’s changed. That happens.”

Brown also pointed out how his team never panic, even after crushing defeats, such as the one to Copenhagen last week.

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“It was one result in a long season,” he said. “If you start worrying about results that happened two or three games ago, that’s when the form hits rock bottom. We just continue looking forward but we don’t speak about matches ten games ahead. For example, we’ll deal with the Scottish Cup semi-final when it comes around. But losing always hurts.”

“We’re not robots, we’re not perfect; it’s all about how we bounce back.

 “You’re not going to win every game and get everything the way you want it. You have to work hard and sometimes somebody is going to score a goal or take a chance and beat you but it’s all about how you bounce back.

“That’s what makes strong mentalities and that’s what a lot of these lads have. You get one knock back but you bounce forward four or five steps, and that’s what we believe in.”

About the author:

Garry Doyle

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