Brown confident of strong SPL
Scotland international believes new threats will emerge next year
Last Updated: July 12, 2012 1:16pm
Scott Brown: Celtic captain confident the SPL will retain its integrity next season
Celtic dynamo Scott Brown insists the Scottish Premier League will still be competitive this season, despite the absence of Rangers.
Old Firm derbies will no longer be on the fixture list after newco Rangers' application to play in the top flight was rejected by the other clubs in the division.
It has raised concerns that without Rangers to oppose Celtic's charge towards the league crown, the season could turn into a procession for the Hoops.
Yet Brown believes that in the absence of their fierce rivals, other contenders will emerge to keep the competitive edge in the league.
"It will be a little bit different, but at the end of the day we still have to go out there and play every game," he told Celtic's official website.
"It's always hard playing at home and even harder going away to teams like Aberdeen and Hearts. We have to make sure we keep our form week in, week out.
"I think Dundee United could emerge as the main contenders. Hearts have released a lot of their players and Dundee United will take a lot of confidence from that.
"St Johnstone have pretty much the same squad just now as they did last season so I think they will be another strong force."