Scott Brown may be closing in on Billy McNeill and Bobby Lennox’s trophy haul at Celtic – but he insists he’s not in the same league as the legendary pair.

The Hoops skipper’s off
time has also offered a rare opportunity for reflection.

With season 2019-2020 curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ninth successive Premiership trophy was picked up in the back garden as opposed to Celtic Park’s centre circle.

However, the achievement was not dimmed. In grabbing the silverware Brown was collecting a 21st winners’ medal with the club.

It’s a haul which leaves him behind only Lennox and McNeill in the all-time list of trophies won as a player at Parkhead.

But any ideas about bracketing him with guys of that stature are given short shrift as Broony feels uncomfortable even been mentioned in the same breath.

He said: “To be fair, I am nowhere near what those guys did for Celtic. What they achieved for the club was frightening and they are legends.

“It’s not really right for anyone to even consider I’m anything like those guys because of the medals won. Those legends are on a different level to me.

“I never imagined at the beginning I’d be in the situation of captaining Celtic to nine in a row, winning a treble and to be pushing for a Quadruple Treble.

“We’ll need to bide our time with that one but on the whole it has been fantastic.

“All through the years we have had belief in each other and it’s the same again with this current group of lads.

“Maybe one day when I finish playing I’ll look back on it all, look at the success we have had as a club and the trophies we have won together and think it is an incredible achievement.

“But things like that can only happen when you finish. You can’t have thoughts like that when you are still playing.

“You can’t take your eye off the ball for a single second at Celtic. So for me just now it’s about still looking forward, still pushing on and still trying to keep achieving more because I feel as though I have a lot of games left in me.”

The aches and pains might be gone this time around.

But as far as determination and desire are concerned at the beginning of another pre-season campaign they will never leave Broony’s body.

When the troops report back to Lennoxtown in the middle of this month having been given a green light by the Scottish Government Brown will be starting his 14th season with the champions.

He’ll be 35 by the time June is over but there’s no signs of slowing down.

The Covid-19 shutdown has left players on the sidelines for almost three months and, with the club’s summers normally less than a third of that time, Brown admits it might take a little longer to get back up to speed than usual.

However, he said: “Usually we would get two, three or maybe even four weeks in the summer tops to recover from the previous season before it’s back into pre-season training to go again for the next campaign.

“There are still one or two little aches and pains when you go back in that situation but they should all be gone.

“The longer I am off the harder it is going to be for me to get back but you always have to look at the positive aspects of things if you can and that is what I have tried to do.”

Brown’s influence will again be crucial to boss Neil Lennon and Celtic for the push for 10. The manager is the boss and, although his captain leads the way in the dressing room, Brown says everyone takes responsibility within the group.

He said: “There are times when the manager steps in and he’s unbelievable. If training has been sloppy or if we are not playing as well as we can play, he’ll come in and say so.

“But for the majority of the time, if you are truthful with yourself as a player, you will take a little bit of stuff from the lads at times as well. It might be, ‘You are not working hard enough’. And the thing is you can go straight over to the stats that are available these days and you can show them that it’s not at the required levels.

“The manager can do it but the lads are brilliant. We know if we are not right we’ll go into the dressing room and we will try to sort things out among ourselves.

“Everyone knows what role to take and knows their
responsibilities and tasks.

“It’s not about having a go at people, it’s about us winning.”