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Brown is just like Gerrard, says Rodgers

By Ronnie Esplin

Celtic skipper Scott Brown has the same effect on domestic opponents as former England captain Steven Gerrard, according to Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers.

Ahead of the Scottish champions' trip to Hearts in the Ladbrokes Premiership tomorrow, Jambos' 16-year-old midfielder Harry Cochrane looked forward to coming up against Brown, twice his age, saying: "I've been watching him since I was a young boy so that would be something special."

Rodgers worked with Gerrard at Liverpool and he made favourable comparisons with the former Kop midfielder and Brown, whom he claimed had bossed fellow Scotland international John McGinn in last weekend's 2-2 draw with Hibernian.

"Browny always invites that because of the type of player he is," Rodgers said.

"I seen it over many years, seen it working with Steven Gerrard.

"Every player that came up against Steven would raise their game 10 to 15%because they are up against a top player and Browny has the same up here.

"Every week, every player who comes up against him knows how good he is so they always see it as a real test."

Cochrane may not be the only 16-year-old in the Hearts midfield tomorrow, as the home side look to end Celtic's domestic unbeaten record of 69 games.

Former Dundee United, Leicester and Scotland boss Craig Levein gave youngster Anthony McDonald his debut in the 2-0 win against Dundee on Tuesday night.

Rodgers believes Levein, who had been director of football at Tynecastle when he replaced Ian Cathro as boss in August, should be praised for promoting from within his youth squad.

He said: "Craig done terrific as a club manager here. It was a really sensible decision to put him in place and having that knowledge of the youth system."

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