Celtic need to be braver, says Scott Brown

Celtic captain Scott Brown has called on his Celtic teammates to be braver as they bid to bounce back from their disappointing start to the season.

AFP| Last Updated: Oct 17, 2014, 09:51 AM IST

Glasgow: Celtic captain Scott Brown has called on his Celtic teammates to be braver as they bid to bounce back from their disappointing start to the season.

The Hoops lost to newly-promoted Hamilton Academical in their previous match before the international break to leave the Scottish champions in sixth place in the table.

Next up for the Scottish champions is a trip north to face bottom side Ross County on Saturday and midfielder Brown says the Celtic players must work harder to produce better results.

"We`ve got faith that we can go up to Dingwall on Saturday and win," the Celtic skipper said.

"We`ve got to start well, we`ve got to take our chances and we`ve got to believe that we can do it.

"There are a lot of good players in the dressing room and we do believe that we`re a good team, and we`ve got to back ourselves and believe.

"We`ve got to be braver on the ball, we`ve got to work harder as a group and we`ve got to know when to close down or when to sit off as well. We can`t go running about here and there for 90 minutes because it`s hard.

"We`ve got to press teams better but we`ve been working on that on the training ground and we`ve just got to look forward now and be as positive as possible."

The defeat to Hamilton was their first to the Lanarkshire club since 1938 and ended a two-year unbeaten run at home in the league.

Brown was scathing of his teammates after the defeat, accusing them of "hiding".

And after returning from two weeks away on international duty with Scotland the midfielder is adamant he was right to hit out at his fellow players.

"I have definitely calmed down but I still believe what I said was right," the Celtic captain said.

"I am not going to change my thoughts on getting beat and being angry.

"I said everyone was hiding, not just some.

"You have to be disappointed and have it in the back of the head that you could have done something better and as a team we should have done something better.

"Sometimes the truth has got to come out and it is not always the best thing."

With two defeats and two draws from their opening eight fixtures, this has been the worst start to a season Celtic have suffered since 1998.

Celtic`s poor form has heaped pressure on manager Ronny Deila, who only replaced Neil Lennon in the summer, but he has backed his players to bounce back against Ross County on Saturday.

"The Ross County game is very important. We want to bounce back at once and it`s going to be a hard match but I feel we are improving all the time," Deila said.

"I saw their game against Inverness and they were very good in the first half. They had a lot of chances and were pressing them very hard and with good intensity.

"It will be an intense game and we need to get the ball down and get the tempo up, create chances and defend well at all times."

Celtic have been boosted ahead of the match by the return from injury of Charlie Mulgrew, Mikel Lustig, Adam Matthews and Callum McGregor.

Leaders Hamilton could move provisionally nine points clear of Celtic if they beat Aberdeen on Friday, while Dundee United, in second, entertain Partick Thistle on Saturday.
Fixtures (1400 GMT unless otherwise stated)

Friday

Hamilton Academical v Aberdeen (1845 GMT)
Saturday

Ross County v Celtic (1145 GMT), Dundee United v Partick Thistle, Motherwell v Dundee, St Johnstone v Kilmarnock, St Mirren v Inverness CT