Scott Brown backs ‘brilliant’ Craig Gordon to win Scotland recall

By Ronnie Esplin, PA
·2-min read

Scott Brown will recognise a kindred spirit as well as a former team-mate in next month’s William Hill Scottish Cup final.

The veteran Celtic captain helped the Hoops to a 2-0 semi-final win over Aberdeen  at Hampden Park on Sunday knowing Hearts were waiting in the final which takes place at the national stadium on December 20.

Brown had watched 37-year-old Jambos keeper Craig Gordon, who left Parkhead in the summer after six success-laden years for a second spell at Tynecastle, put in a terrific performance in their 2-1 semi-final win over Hibernian which brought talk of a Scotland recall.

Brown, 35,  also played alongside Gordon for the national team and he knows what perceptions abound in the latter stages of a career.

“He was brilliant on Saturday, with some saves he made to keep his team in it,” said Brown.

“He’s a fantastic goalkeeper, everyone knows how good he is and he just keeps proving it.

“Age doesn’t really matter to him. He still believes he can do it and pretty much me and Craig are in the same boat.

“A lot of people keep writing us off but we keep going, we keep coming back and it is about that mental toughness that everyone has got and Craig has it in abundance.”

Scotland boss Steve Clarke will this week name his squad for the Euro 2020 play-off final away to Serbia and the Nations League games against Slovakia and Israel this month and Brown would not be surprised by a return to the squad for Gordon, who won the most recent of his 54 Scotland caps against Portugal in 2018.

He said: “Everyone knows he has still got it. Craig is a fantastic goalkeeper.

“He probably will be in the Scotland squad after that performance and it’s a good headache to have for Steve Clarke.”

Brown remains concentrated on club football these days and has no qualms about not playing 90 minutes of every game for Celtic boss Neil Lennon.

He said: “I felt great. A wee rest now and then again helps and we have the international break as well.

“I’m here when the manager needs me, he knows that.

“If he needs  to use me or he doesn’t because the lads are doing brilliant then I am happy to sit down and watch the lads continuing, as long as we’re winning, that puts a smile on my face and it puts a smile on their faces.

“It is not about one individual, it’s not about me saying I should be playing every week.

“That is the manager’s choice. He picks the strongest team for the game.”