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Brown’s a better player than me, says Celtic manager Lennon

By Lisa Gray

Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes there are similarities between himself and Scott Brown — but insists his skipper is a better player.

The midfielder has had a big impact on the Hoops' current impressive form since making his return from an ankle injury at the end of November.

The Celtic captain has now been rewarded for his efforts by being named Scottish Premier League player of the month for January.

Lennon said: “I'm delighted for him, I think he deserves it.

“He is playing with great authority on the pitch and he is an excellent captain.

“He has the respect of the players in the dressing room, which is very important to be a captain of a big club.

“I think he has matured and now we are seeing Scott at his best.

“People talk about him being a good athlete but he reads the game very well and his football appreciation is good.

“He's a better footballer than a lot of people give him credit for.”

Asked if he sees similarities between himself as a player and Brown, the manager added: “I do, yes. In terms of personality.

“I think he's got more attributes than I had in terms of his running power and his eye for a goal. I'm just very pleased with how he has progressed in the role he has been given.

“He conducts himself very well on the park. He has matured a lot quicker than most people have done. I think he's had to, with the responsibility of the armband.”

Celtic face Hearts in the SPL tonight and Lennon was reluctant to discuss his reported interest in their goalkeeper Marian Kello.

Kello is unlikely to feature against the Hoops after missing the Scottish Cup tie against St Johnstone at the weekend after clashing with the Hearts board over his refusal to move to Austria Vienna on transfer deadline day.

He was also linked with a move to Parkhead and could quit the Jambos at the end of the season, but said yesterday he does not want to go to Celtic, where he believes he would not be first choice.

Lennon said: “The window is shut and there is not a story there really. I'm very happy with the three goalkeepers that I've got.

“You are always looking to strengthen but I can't do anything until the summer and, until then, I'm not going to talk about any other player.

“I've had no contact with him and I've had no contact with Hearts regarding the player and I've had no contact with his agent either.”

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