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Skipper Brown is savouring every moment of Hoops' surge

By Robert Jones

Celtic could hardly be in a better place as 2016 nears its end, according to skipper Scott Brown.

While Brendan Rodgers' side failed to get out of their Champions League group, they are 14 points clear of Rangers at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership table having played a game less. They have gone 21 domestic games unbeaten with the Betfred Cup already in the trophy cabinet.

The Hoops are preparing for the trip to play Hamilton at the SuperSeal stadium today with Ross County at home and Rangers at Ibrox also to face before January and the winter break.

The Parkhead midfielder believes a team effort on and off the park is contributing to their success.

"Everyone in that dressing room is enjoying football and enjoying training," said Brown.

"There's competitiveness throughout the dressing room and I think that's what is pushing us on.

"It's a good place to be just now, there's great spirits, the fans are behind us, whether it's home, away or Champions League or in the league so that's the main thing.

"(The consistency) has shown in the results and hopefully we will have a lot more under Brendan coming.

"It has been a great five months so far and there's still a long way to go for us.

"We've got three games before the winter break and we need to push everyone as far as we possibly can in the right direction."

In the midst of an exacting month where they will play nine games, the champions beat Hamilton 1-0 at Parkhead just over a week ago thanks to a Leigh Griffiths goal.

However, Brown believes the game on Hamilton's artificial surface makes it a different kind of test for Celtic.

"You know how they are going to shape up against you but they might change a couple of things here and there," he said.

"It's on astroturf, so it's a totally different game now for us.

"They train and play on it most weeks so they have the upper hand there. But at the end of the day, it's 11 versus 11 and we'll hopefully get the ball down and hopefully play better than we did last season, because we struggled there in the last couple of seasons."

Meanwhile, Rodgers will give more young players the chance to shine after Calvin Miller made his debut in Tuesday's 1-0 home win over Partick Thistle.

The 18-year-old, primarily an attacker, started at left-back and played just over an hour, with the Carnlough man pleased with what he saw from the youngster.

"Between now and the end of the season, more young players will get opportunities, I am pretty certain of that," he said.

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