Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Brown wants full involvement for Celtic

Scott Brown insists he does not want to miss any matches for club or country amid fears his workload could lead to a recurrence of his ankle injury.

Celtic midfielder Brown is expected to be rested for tonight's Co-operative Insurance Cup third-round tie at Falkirk, with reports suggesting he will visit a specialist to check up on his recovery from a summer operation.

Hoops assistant manager Mark Venus yesterday urged Scotland not to pick Brown for next month's friendly in Japan if the 24-year-old is not 100% fit.

Venus fears pushing the player too hard early in the season could see him pay the price later in the campaign.

But in an interview which took place before Venus revealed his concerns, Brown told this week's Celtic View magazine: "The more games the merrier.

"I played a lot of matches last season, and, hopefully, it's the case this year again.

"You have 38 games in the SPL, and someone told me we'd have to play 19 in total - including the qualifiers - if we go all the way in the Europa League.

"Throw in cup games and internationals, and there will be a lot to keep us all occupied.

"That's ideal for me, though. I enjoy training, but nothing beats playing."

Brown has played 10 matches for Celtic and Scotland already this season but insists he is feeling good.

"I'm feeling better now and it's just great to be back in the team, getting regular 90 minutes under my belt," he said.

"It's never ideal to be sitting in the stand when your team-mates are out there playing. I want to be out there fighting the battles with the players."

Meanwhile, manager Tony Mowbray has revealed new signing Zheng Zhi was finally set to join up his Celtic team-mates.

Reports claim Zheng flew to his native China to obtain paperwork from the relevant authorities which allows him to begin his Parkhead career.

The 29-year-old has not played a competitive game since leaving Charlton at the end of last season and Mowbray plans to get him up to speed as soon as possible, but that will not involve being blooded in Saturday's trip to St Mirren.

The Parkhead boss said in the Evening Times: "Zheng will be here from now on in and it's all guns blazing from then.

"I don't expect him to be involved on Saturday, but we'll see him soon.

"There's an international break coming up and we will use that to give him a sort of mini pre-season."

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