Away to go for Broony and Bhoys

AWAY we go … that is sure to be Celtic's sign-off to 2013.

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Scott Brown says keeping hold of Joe Ledley and Georgios Samaras would be massive for the club
Scott Brown says keeping hold of Joe Ledley and Georgios Samaras would be massive for the club

Trips to Perth today and Inverness on Sunday complete the year for the league leaders and defending champions.

Their last two road trips in Scotland saw the Hoops enjoy a 7-0 win at Tynecastle and a 5-0 victory at Motherwell.

Life has proved a bit stickier at home, with a 1-0 win over Hibs followed by a sticky 2-0 victory over Hearts.

But skipper Scott Brown prefers to look on this as coincidental, and insists the important point - or points - is winning, home or away, and extending their unbeaten run in the SPFL Premiership.

He knows that, to get his hands on the league trophy again, the Hoops have to stay focused, even with all the obvious distractions of the festive season.

The skipper is sure they have their game heads on, and will remind everyone in their camp that McDiarmid Park was one of the venues where they stumbled last season.

He said: "It is going to be a hard game," before adding, with more than a hint of sarcasm: "And I am sure it will be nice conditions as well.

"Over the past couple of seasons, St Johnstone have defended really well and counter-attacked. They have got a few points off us and McDiarmid Park has not been the best place for us."

But, if Brown's festive wish to remain unbeaten for the rest of the season is to be fulfilled, he accepts they will have to be on their guard every time they take to the field as their scalp is becoming more and more prized.

He said: "It's going to be hard to go through a season unbeaten.

"We're only halfway there, and even look at the next two games. Away at St Johnstone and Inverness are hard matches.

"But the record of remaining unbeaten will keep us going all season."

That would be easier to achieve if Joe Ledley and Georgios Samaras could be persuaded to accept the new contracts the club have offered.

Brown said: "It would be great for the club to keep these two lads.

"I think Sami wants to be here and so does Joe.

"We need to wait and see what happens and I don't really like asking the lads about their personal contract situations.

"It's whatever they feel is best, but we'd love to have them here. I appreciate what both bring to the team, so do the other lads.

"Getting those two signed up would be as big as we could do in January, especially with the way football is just now with not a lot of money around to be spent by clubs."

Football

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