Celtic skipper Scott Brown believes that Craig Levein’s comments had an immediate impact on officials.

Hearts manager Levein remarked last week that “everyone needed protection from Scott Brown” after Harry Cochrane was injured in a clash with the Hoops captain.

Brown was booked in the 1-0 defeat to Kilmarnock on Saturday afternoon and felt that Levein’s words were a factor in Kevin Clancy’s decision.

“He has done his job, hasn’t he?” said Brown. “I was booked with my first foul [on Saturday] and I think that is exactly what Craig was looking to do.”

Meanwhile, Brown has also maintained that there is no need for any knee-jerk reactions after Celtic’s second domestic defeat this season.

Kilmarnock took all three points on Saturday but Brown has maintained that Celtic are capable of rediscovering their best form in the conclusive run-up to the season.

“At Celtic it is always a crisis if you lose a game,” he said. “We know that. We weren’t at our best against Kilmarnock but when you are playing on a pitch like that it is difficult to play the way we would like to.

“It’s not an excuse. It is just one of the reasons why we never really got going.

“But we were slaughtered in December when we lost to Hearts and we were able to respond in the right manner. This will give us the chance to do that again.

“It is about picking ourselves up and making sure that we are ready to get going. We have Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup this weekend.

“We also have a free week in the build-up to that one so it will give us a chance to regroup and focus on what we need to do.”

Jack Hendry and Charly Musonda made their debuts for Celtic at Rugby Park with Brown insisting that the Parkhead club will see the best of them in the coming months.

“It is always difficult when you first come into a new team but they have already settled in with the lads pretty well,” he said. “Jack has been playing so will be up to speed with us pretty quickly and we know that he is a good player.

"He is strong and had great potential to go on and do well here.

"Charly needs a bit of time but I am sure that we will see what he has got once he gets match sharp. There are a lot of games coming up for us over the next few weeks so hopefully we can start to find our pace again.

"The club have worked hard to bring in some new faces in the window and I am sure we will see their impact between now and the end of the season."

Celtic have been left to sweat on the fitness of Kristoffer Ajer and Dedrcyk Boyata after they joined the growing injury list at the club.

The Parkhead side face Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League next week and Brendan Rodgers does not have his problems to seek ahead of it in terms of personnel.

"We will have to wait and see on how they are but whoever plays we will be ready for it," insisted Brown.