BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
Celtic boss Ronny Deila is sweating over the fitness of Scott Brown after the Hoops captain limped out of the warm-up ahead of last night’s League Cup win over Hearts.
The 25-year-old was due to start against the Gorgie outfit but pulled up with a knee complaint 15 minutes before kick-off in the capital.
Deila confirmed that Brown will be sent for a scan and, with a crunch encounter against Aberdeen then the Europa League visit of Molde to come in the next seven days, he is praying the damage is not serious.
Deila said: “Scott felt something in his knee during the warm-up and we have to scan that on Thursday to see what that is.
“I hope it is not serious but it is the knee, so we need to wait for the scan.
“To lose our captain makes that performance even better.
Gary Mackay-Steven was also due to be on the bench for the Tynecastle tussle but was not risked after complaining of a tight groin muscle.
Deila added: “He was feeling stiff in his groin. We were going to have him on the bench and we didn’t want to take any chances. But he will be ready very quickly.”
Nevertheless, a virtuoso display by Leigh Griffiths ensured the duo’s absence was not costly.
The Scotland striker, a boyhood Hibs fans, wreaked havoc on his return to the capital, scoring a wonderful solo goal to break the deadlock before laying a second on a plate for Tom Rogic during a 2-1 win for the visitors.
Yet Deila believes there is even more to come from Griffiths, who boasts 12 goals this term, and has urged him to go for the jugular in games.
He said: “Confidence, good training and being professional on and off the pitch are the most important things. We know he has skills.
“He scored one last night and I want him to be even sharper after he scores. I think he sometimes drops off after getting his goal. I want him to go for two and three and four goals in these games.”