Rodgers: Craig Levein is a bit obsessed with Scott Brown
The Celtic manager shot back at Levein's claims Brown deliberately got booked.
Brendan Rodgers has hit back at Craig Levein, saying the Hearts boss is "obsessed" with talking about Celtic captain Scott Brown.
A week after saying players in Scotland "need protection" from Brown, Levein claimed on Thursday the Celtic captain had deliberately gotten himself booked against Kilmarnock in order to avoid being suspended against Rangers next month.
Rodgers was asked about Levein's comments and suggested the Tynecastle boss was showing too much interest in an opposition player.
He said: "He's a wee bit obsessed with Broony, isn't he?"
"I think it's a huge compliment for Scott that Craig keeps talking about him. Especially when we don't play them for a little while.
"It's the first I've heard of that. Broony's a very competitive player so there's nothing really to answer on that."
When asked what he thought about the direct allegation that Brown had invited a yellow card, he was less sanguine.
"I think it's very disrespectful to ask that," he said. "Do you not think? I don't think you should ask that."
And on the subject of other managers speaking about his players, he said: "It's not something that any manager will like so much but it's not something I do unless I'm praising a player for his quality.
"But it's up to each individual about what they want to say."
Levein had said earlier in the day it wasn't his intention to rile others but he felt he was standing up for himself and his club.
"I'm just pointing out one thing, that's all," the Hearts boss said. "I'm just pointing it out as a retort to his statement last week that it was me that got him booked.
"I think you'll find his intentions were to always get booked in that game so he doesn't miss the Rangers game.
"It happens all the time. Anyone who is sensible would look at the situation if there's a particular game they want to play in and they only need to get booked to miss a game prior to that.
"I did it myself when I was playing. It happens."