FRANK McAvennie has backed Scott Brown to bounce back from his poor performance against Rangers and silence his doubters – just like he did when Celtic last lost to their city rivals in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final back in 2016.

Many former players and pundits have suggested that Brown’s days as Celtic captain are numbered in the wake of the Parkhead club’s 1-0 defeat to Steven Gerrard’s team at Ibrox last month.

The 33-year-old is out of contract in the summer and, amid interest from Western Melbourne in Australia and Minnesota United and Sporting Kansas City in the United States, has still to sign the extension he has been offered.

However, McAvennie recalled how the midfielder proved his critics wrong after they claimed he was a spent force when Ronny Deila’s men were beaten on penalties by Mark Warburton’s charges in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden three seasons ago.

"He's the captain, he's going to be there,” he said. “He's been written off before, he'd one bad game against Rangers a couple of years ago and he was finished, and he came back. He never misses training or a game so he'll be there. He's a catalyst for the manager.

"Most normal people take days off but Scott Brown won't. It'll be snowing and he'll be training in short sleeves. I'd have a coat on. None of this nonsense with tights on. He's a great influence in the changing room, Brendan will want him about and I don't think he'll go anywhere before the end of the season.”

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