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End of Celtic's remarkable run wasn't down to fatigue: Brown

 

By Ronnie Esplin

Skipper Scott Brown dismissed fatigue as a factor in Celtic's 69-game unbeaten domestic run coming to an astonishing end against Hearts on Sunday.

A stunning 4-0 win for the home side - with 16-year-old midfielder Harry Cochrane, former Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty and David Milinkovic (2) on target - was the first time last season's treble winners had lost to a Scottish team since a 2-1 defeat by St Johnstone on May 11, 2016.

It was also the first time boss Brendan Rodgers had lost a domestic game since taking over from Ronny Deila that summer, and it came in the midst of a nine-game December in a season which started in July with Champions League qualifiers.

However, the 32-year-old midfielder refused to use the Parkhead club's busy schedule as an excuse and claimed it had simply been a bad day at the office.

Brown said: "We have had the same season as last year, nine games in December, and we came through that and I think we went unbeaten and that was in the Champions League as well.

"It's not about fatigue, it was just about one game and it is slightly disappointing.

"We have a big enough squad, we can deal with this. We have so many games coming up before Christmas, with the winter break coming after, so we need to make sure we are focused, recharged and ready to go for them."

Ahead of tomorrow's clash with Partick Thistle, Brown described captaining the side to their "exceptional" British record run as "one of the proudest achievements of my career".

He added: "Now it is all about Wednesday for us and how we can bounce back."

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