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Rodgers: There was nothing in Brown's tackle on Cochrane

The Celtic manager has defended Scott Brown's challenge on the Hearts teenager.

Brendan Rodgers has defended the challenge on Hearts youngster Harry Cochrane which left him sidelined with a bruised collarbone.

Scott Brown landed on the 16-year-old as he fought to win the ball back during Celtic's 3-1 league win over Hearts on Tuesday.

Tynecastle boss Craig Levein aimed a dig at the Celtic captain saying "I think everybody should get a little bit more protection from Scott Brown."

Rodgers responded by playing down the incident and questioning whether or not Cochrane, who has made 14 appearances since breaking into the first team this season, should have been playing in the fixture.

"I think that certainly there was nothing in the tackle," he said when informed of Levein's comments.

"They competed in the air and the young guy was unfortunate that with Scotty's power and strength he wins the ball and the young guy falls. He clearly falls awkwardly and was in pain coming off.

"You could argue, should a 16-year-old be coming into a game of that magnitude against the best team in Scotland and a game of that level of intensity?

"The young player showed he could handle it in the game at Tynecastle. It's just an unfortunate incident but I don't think there's anything against Scott Brown in it.

"If you actually look at the game the actual foul count was more towards Hearts. I think it was 21 fouls by them and nine by us.

"We had to be aggressive in the game, we had to have intensity but that's how we play. That's a general aspect of how we play every game. You have to earn the right, you have to be hungry for the ball and I think we did that."

'You could argue, should a 16-year-old be coming into a game of that magnitude against the best team in Scotland and a game of that level of intensity?'
Brendan Rodgers, Celtic manager

Levein implied Brown had went into the game with a point to prove having come off worse in the sides' previous meeting.

Hearts ended Celtic's 69-game unbeaten run in December with a 4-0 win at Tynecastle, with Cochrane scoring the opening goal.

Rodgers denied Brown was avenging that result and defended his committed style of play.

"Scott Brown goes into every game to dominate the game," he continued.

"That's what I ask him to do and it's what I ask the team to do, show our dominance. I don't think he was bossed at Tynecastle. As a team we weren't so good and Hearts did well.

"We were humble after the game. I would hope that Hearts were the same after this game."

"He's a top class international player and I've been fortunate in my career to work with top level players and they are highly competitive.

"They play on the limit all the time, whether they're midfield players, defenders or strikers. Scott Brown is a great example of a top class player who plays on the limit every single game.

"That's why our supporters love him and other players respect him. He shows his fight in every single game."

https://stv.tv/sport/football/1407424-levein-aims-dig-at-brown-for-cochrane-s-collarbone-injury/ | default

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