Scott Brown was one of the loudest and brashest characters ever on the field of play. Off it, there was never any hint of braggadocio.

His 14 years at Celtic as a player yielded 10 Scottish Premiership titles, six Scottish Cups, seven Scottish League Cups as well as 55 caps and four goals for Scotland. When he finally quit Celtic Park in 2021 he bowed out with three more entries on his CV - Captain. Leader. Legend. Brown much preferred to do his talking on the pitch. A bit like his former club. It's why the 38-year-old was always convinced that Celtic were going to defeat Rangers on December 30.

The mood music heading into the latest Glasgow derby match seemed to be focused entirely on the men from Govan and Philippe Clement's unbeaten start to his Rangers managerial tenure. Celtic had also had a wobble and lost back-to-back matches against Kilmarnock and Hearts in the same month and the title race was well and truly on. However, goals from Paulo Bernardo and Kyogo Furuhashi put the pretenders to Celtic's title throne gas at a peep for a while anyway.

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Having played under current Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, who has lost just one Glasgow Derby in 15 matches - winning 12 and drawing two - in his two spells in charge of the men in green and white thus far, Brown insists that the Northern Irishman is coolness personified when it comes to the big occasion.

Brown said: “I knew Celtic were going to get the result. When Celtic loses a couple of games they always bounce back well and Brendan (Rodgers) is always very calm. He’s relaxed that way in the background.

“Everyone’s going to be a little bit disappointed about losing games but the thing is, he will have had everyone switched on especially at home for a game as big as that one. Celtic are quiet. They don’t speak too much, they don’t get too excited. They stay kind of mellow all the way through and I think that’s the best thing that Brendan ever brought to the football club. He’s always just made sure things are ticking over quietly and working towards the game ahead.

“The Celtic press was exceptional compared to Rangers. You look at the front six from Celtic and they’ll go and press and work hard. That’s the difference between the two teams. If you look at the distance covered by both of them, nine times out of ten, whoever works the hardest wins the game.”

Celtic Way:

Brown played in enough of the powderkeg fixtures to learn that talk is cheap. He readily admitted that he was never happier whenever players from the other side of the city ran off at the mouth beforehand as it gave him and the rest of the Celtic team the necessary fuel and fire in their bellies to get results.

He said: “It sparks you a little bit more as well. You let them speak and then you go and dictate, win the game and then you’re like, ‘Yeah mate, there you go!’

When asked if the Rangers players put themselves under too much pressure to win, Brown said: “Yes. Then you see all of the fans jumping on the bandwagon as well.

"For me, Celtic got it spot on. They knew how to go and play against Rangers, they knew what they were going to do. Rangers had a couple of chances, yeah, but Celtic dominated the game.”

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Although Brown has one wish for the derby moving forward and that is to see away fans being allowed to attend the spectacle once again.

He said: "It is sad, though, that there are no away fans for either side. But, if somebody starts it, we finish it - that’s the usual thing for us - but hopefully we can get back to having away fans at the games.

“It would be good because there is nothing better than going away from home and seeing five or six thousand fans supporting you instead of you going away from home and just seeing 50,000 Rangers fans or 60,000 Celtic fans. It’s the biggest game in Scotland and probably in Britain to be fair. So you want to try to advertise it as well as you possibly can. You want the fans. You want passion from both sides and you want to have that little bit of banter between both sets of fans. You want to hear your fans, whether it’s home or away, you always want to hear them.

"The supporters want to be there as well. They want to go and feel what it’s like to see your team win there. So I feel for all the Celtic fans not being able to go to Ibrox and see their team play.”

Brown also neatly sidestepped the issue of the huge fallout from the match with a terse one-liner.

He said: “It was offside so it doesn’t really matter. There’s always going to be a lot said after they get beat but, for me, it was offside.”

With the winter break upon us, Brown is certain that Celtic will kick on when Scottish football resumes and that if Rodgers can bring in the quality that he needs in the January transfer window it will be enough to land a third successive Premiership crown especially because Rangers also have the added distraction of European football.

However Brown insists that the hardcore experience and quality that Celtic already have at their disposal will stand them in good stead for the final title push come the business end of the season.

He said: "I think Celtic will win the league because, overall, they are the better team. Especially when it comes to the front three. Celtic also look more likely to score goals than Rangers do. They have more legs around the whole park. I think everyone wants to bring in more quality, that is part and parcel of the transfer market. It is only open twice a year. Everyone will try to push it as hard as they can, and Brendan will try to get as much quality as he can.

"They have got a big squad so it happens that people will go and people will come in. They want people to fight for positions so they will bring in quality. It depends on what the manager wants.

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Celtic Way:

"Celtic already have Cal (Callum McGregor), Cameron Carter-Vickers as well as Joe Hart, so through the core of your team you have huge experience. That is what allows you to dig deep, especially in hard games. In those games when it is maybe nil-nil at 80 minutes and Celtic are still going, it will be those guys that will be pushing the team forward and expect the same from their teammates as well. The levels that Cal sets daily, in training and during games, are exceptional.

"Cal dominated the Rangers game, he was the best player in the park. It was his energy, intent to win every second ball and understanding of the game. Then you have Matt O’Riley there who has the game intelligence and wants to get on and create chances. Celtic also don’t have European football so it will be their main focus. It will be week to week for them, most weeks. They aren’t too used to that, having a little rest and a little bit more of the manager working on shape, structure, how they are going to press, and more focus on training.

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"Rangers having more games could go one way or the other. When I was a player, I loved the games and going from Saturday to Wednesday to Saturday because I wanted to play. If you get beat in one of those games, and then lose the next one, you can get in that downer and it can be hard to get out of that. It can go one way or another but Celtic will have more chances for recovery and to keep the squad fit and you would hope they have their top XI available who can go from week to week.

"With new bodies also coming in, that will be important for Brendan because he will want them to understand quickly how he wants the team to play and when to press as well as also understand how high the standards are set at Celtic."

There you have it. Whisper it quietly but Brown is adamant that Celtic will win the Scottish Premiership title...again!

No shouting from the rooftops just a simple message delivered in a cold, calculating fashion. It's all a bit reminiscent of the way Brown was as a Celtic player, isn't it?

Scott Brown was speaking at a Scottish Gas media event.  Scottish Gas is the proud partner of the Scottish Cup.