Scott Brown saw red for swinging his arm on Wednesday night.

But it’s because of the times he has put it around the shoulder of his team-mates that it will be quickly forgiven.

And Leigh Griffiths has leaned on the Celtic captain more than most for support during his own off-field struggles.

Brown was sent off just five minutes after coming on against Livingston in midweek to compound their misery in a 2-2 draw.

The midfielder lashed out at Jaze Kabia resulting in Willie Collum flashing the first red card in Brown’s direction since he was sent off for celebrating his late winner at Rugby Park almost two years ago.

And Griffiths says it’s now time for the dressing-room to rally round their suspended leader, a man the Celtic squad has looked up to for a decade.

The Scotland hitman said: “Broonie is Broonie. At times he’s been the one who has had his arm around me or other players.

“It’s time for us to do that for him.

“Livingston was a wee bit of a moment of madness you could say. I’ve not seen it back so don’t know if what he did warranted a sending off or not – but he was red-carded and that has left us down to 10 men.

“But there have been times when he has helped us all through. Yeah, he let us down a bit but he will be easily forgiven for what he has given to the club.”

This will almost certainly be Brown’s last season and Griffiths insists he hasn’t given up on sending him out on a historic note by winning 10-in-a-row. The Hoops have a mountain to climb if they’re going to overhaul Rangers’ massive lead at the top of the table.

If they fail to pull off a miracle comeback then Griffiths is desperate to lift the Scottish Cup to ensure they don’t end the season empty handed after winning a dozen trophies on the spin.

He admits the intense speculation surrounding Neil Lennon’s future makes it more difficult but insists the players are more determined to silence the club's critics.

Griffiths, preparing for Wednesday’s clash with Hamilton at Parkhead, said: “The fans have wanted this league for so long. They have been singing about it.

“They thought it was a foregone conclusion that we just had to turn up to win the 10.

“You need to earn the right to win trophies. We earned the right 12 times in a row but that has not been the case this season.

“It’s still mathematically possible but it’s going to be a big task to clinch the 10.

“Yes, we’ve got a big points gap to try to claw back and we have not had the best of seasons so far.

“It’s still possible though it’s going to
take an almighty push from everybody involved. But we have players at this club who do not know what it’s like not to win a cup final or lose a league.

“We still have the Scottish Cup to play for and until the league is mathematically done we will give everything to win those two trophies.

“I have lost cup finals and semi-finals and it’s up there with the worst feelings.

“But if we can get back to Hampden in the Scottish Cup then hopefully I will be on the winning side again.

“I wouldn’t say the noise around the club is easy to shake off but it’s a motivation to quieten people down a bit.

“We are not a bad team. Folk might say we are not playing well but every team has a bad spell.

“Yes, we’ve had a longer spell than normal where we have not played well but just before and after Christmas we were on form.

“In the first half of the Scottish Cup Final against Hearts, it could have been four or five with the chances we missed.

“We blew Hamilton away, we blew Ross County away, we blew Dundee United away.

“For 60 minutes at Ibrox we were the better side. Until the sending off.

“The two games after Dubai weren’t great but on Wednesday night Livingston had three shots on target and scored two of them. It’s small margins.

“You always feel for the manager. And the players need to take most of the responsibility.

“The manager and coaches can give you all the instructions possible but ultimately it’s us players who are failing to carry them out. We’re not giving them what they want.

“We are still doing the same things. The coaching hasn’t changed, the coaching that the gaffer, Kendo (John Kennedy) and Gav (Strachan) gives us is brilliant. It’s just not been a great season. But we still have time to turn it around.

“It’s the old cliche about game by game. We’re now looking ahead to Hamilton.”

Celtic have three games in hand and Griffiths would love to have played this weekend to get the Livi draw out of his system but the teams they are due to play were all in league or Betfred Cup action.

And that means they’ll have to stew until Accies visit Parkhead on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old said: “After a disappointing game you want to get back on the pitch as quickly as possible.

“It would have been great to have played this weekend but we just need to look forward to Wednesday and try to get three points on the board.”

Griffiths also has a place at Euro 2020 in his sights in the summer but said: “I need to play well for Celtic first. But the Euros are obviously a goal.

“Until the Rangers game I was feeling brilliant then I got a good week’s training in Dubai.

“But I needed to isolate for 10 days and there’s not much you can do in isolation.

“I got a bike delivered by the club and I worked on my fitness as much as I could.

“It will be good to have a four-day lead-in to the game on Wednesday. We will get a lot of minutes on the training pitch then we will see where we are.”