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‘FITNESS? NOT A PROBLEM,’ INSISTS BROWN

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CELTIC skipper Scott Brown is planning an action replay of last season when he lifted the Player of the Year awards from his fellow–professionals and the football writers.

And the Hoops midfield inspiration also led the Parkhead side to the double treble – and now has his eyes on a third successive domestic clean sweep.

Brown insisted: “My fitness levels are not a problem. It’s just a question of avoiding injuries and making sure I keep ticking over every week.

“The games seem to help me, I get stronger and stronger as they go on. Last year I felt great all the way through the season.

“I looked after my body well in the summer and came back in better nick than I was at the end of the year.”

The 33-year-old former Scotland international captain added: “Everyone is going to be working to be that team to beat us and show they are better than us. It’s about how we react to the challenge.

THE CAPTAIN’S GAZE…Scott Brown keeps an eye on Odsonne Edouard.

“We start fresh and have to go into it with the same levels, to be even better than we were last year. We believe we have come back in better condition and we are looking sharp already.

“We’ve already had some good results in pre-season and in the European qualifiers.

“Our immediate aim is to make sure we get into the Champions League. We also want a good start in the Premiership and the Betfred Cup.

“The extra round in the Champions League qualifiers is also making it harder and harder. Last year we had Rosenborg in the round before the play-offs, so it’s earlier this time and shows you the level of opposition we face.

“It’’s going to get harder. If we get through this round, it will be AEK Athens. I’m sure they will be even better than Rosenborg.”

Brown and his team-mates protect a 3-1 first leg advantage when they take on Rosenborg in Trondheim tomorrow night.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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