Celtic captain Scott Brown shakes off fitness worries for Champions League qualifier

The 32-year-old hobbled off in the first half of his side’s 9-0 demolition of Shamrock Rovers on Saturday with an Achilles problem.

But after visiting a specialist, midfielder Brown was relieved to learn he won’t have to sit out the first leg of Celtic’s qualifier at Windsor Park.

He said: “I’ll be fine. It was just a slight wee problem but nothing to worry about.”

Brown believes the memory of last year’s shock first-leg defeat to Lincoln Red Imps in Gibraltar is a reminder that the Hoops daren’t underestimate Northern Irish part-timers Linfield.

Brown said: “Is it a warning? Yes, definitely. I think that’s always at the back of the players’ minds.

“We’ve come back and everyone is in better condition this year than we were last year.

“We’re looking a lot sharper. We scored nine goals in our last game so it shows we’re finding our feet and we’re finding it quickly.”

Brown is expecting a tough test against Linfield but is confident they can cope with David Healy’s treble winners in Belfast.

He added: “It’s going to be physical.

“They will want to make it a battle because of the way we play football.

“They’re going to try to stop us and close us down early doors.

“But, when you look at our squad, we’ve got some great players who can deal with the pressure and have dealt with that kind of pressure in the past.”

Source: Daily Express