Brown backed to shine for Celtic despite Aberdeen defeat

Hoops goalkeeper will thrive says man who sold him to the Glasgow giants
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The Independent Football

Mark Brown is a more than able deputy for Artur Boruc, according to the man who sold the former Inverness Caledonian Thistle keeper to Celtic. Boruc is set to miss next week's Scottish Premier League clash with Hibernian at Parkhead with a groin injury sustained in the warm-up before Sunday's game at Aberdeen.

The Poland international's erratic form this season led to speculation that he might be dropped for the Pittodrie match, but in the event he had to be replaced by No 2 Brown who let in four goals in a 4-2 defeat which blew open the SPL title race.

The champions are now just two points ahead of second-placed Rangers, who could go top of the league with a win in their lunchtime kick-off at Aberdeen next Saturday.

Brown is set to make his fifth appearance of the season against the Easter Road side a few hours later and former Inverness manager Charlie Christie, who has offered his services to the Highland club again following Craig Brewster's departure today, backed the former Rangers and Motherwell keeper whom he sold to the Parkhead club two years ago.

"When I sold Mark to Celtic I did think he would spend a bit of time as the back-up keeper," Christie said. "I wondered how he would take that as he loved his match days but Boruc is a top-class goalkeeper, so it was always going to be difficult for Mark to get in. I watched Celtic's game. There were perhaps question marks over one or two of the goals but I think Gordon Strachan has already stated he is more concerned with the loss of the goals from free-kicks than his keeper.

"Celtic and Rangers fans think they should always have big name international players in their team. But I would say to Celtic fans that Mark has all the attributes and there will be no problems with him.

"He's had a few games before and I watched him have a great game in Europe against Spartak last season for them. So he has done well when he has played."

While Boruc will have his injury assessed today to ascertain the extent, speculation surrounding Strachan's activity in the transfer window continues. After the game at Pittodrie the Celtic manager refused to discuss reports linking him Manchester City's Welsh striker Ched Evans, saying: "I can't help with that one."

The Parkhead club have also been linked to Chelsea teenager Morten Nielsen after the 18-year-old Danish striker reportedly impressed during a visit to the club's Lennoxtown training facility last week.

Rangers have confirmed they will appeal against the red card received by Sasa Papac during Saturday's 3-1 win over Falkirk. The full-back was dismissed for a foul on substitute Mark Stewart on the half-way line, in a match where Falkirk's Patrick Cregg was also sent-off.

Papac was shown a straight red card for serious foul play but manager Walter Smith believes referee William Collum got the decision wrong. He said: "The referee felt there was no intent to play the ball but, when you see it, there was. It was a left-sided player on the right side of the pitch and he put his left leg across but committed a foul."

Once the Scottish Football Association receive the appeal, the match official will be asked to review the incident again. If he concludes that a mistake was made and that Papac should not have been sent-off, the case will be referred to the SFA's review panel.

If the referee stands by his decision, the appeal is dismissed and Papac will serve a two-match suspension – an automatic one-match ban for the red card and a further one-game ban for going over the points tally.

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