Lennon hails Brown

Hoops manager acknowledges midfielder's impact

Scott Brown: Scottish Premier League Player of the Month

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has praised captain Scott Brown and believes there are similarities between himself and the midfielder.

The 26-year-old made his comeback from injury in November and has played a central role in the Hoops' impressive run of 15 games unbeaten.

Skipper Brown has just been awarded the Player of the Month accolade for the Scottish Premier League for January.

And, despite recognising some resemblances with his own game, Lennon admits that the Scotland international is better player than he was.

"I think he's got more attributes than I had in terms of his running power and his eye for a goal," he said.

Fantastic

"He conducts himself very well on the park. His disciplinary record this season is fantastic. I'm not sure how many bookings he's got, if any.

"In terms of his discipline on the park, it's never been an issue for me. He was a little bit hot-headed earlier in his career but we all were.

"He has matured a lot quicker than most people have done. I think he's had to, with the responsibility of the armband."

Brown will lead the side at Tynecastle on Wednesday as they look to avenge their most recent defeat which was four months ago.

Confidence

Hearts beat the Hoops 2-0 in October but Lennon is adamant the result will not affect his side and believes any pressure to extend their SPL lead to four points over rivals Rangers will be dealt with easily.

"I don't think it gives it any more importance," he added. "It's the most important game of the season because it's the next one.

"We have a chance to extend our lead at the top of the table and just try to put pressure on everybody else.

"I think we are in a different place to where we were then. Confidence is good. The team is playing very well and they are taking a lot of pride in what they are doing at the moment.

"Whether this brings extra pressure or not, I don't know. But I'm sure it's pressure they can cope with."