Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass insists there will be no mixed emotions from captain Scott Brown when facing former club Celtic.
He is confident the will to win for Aberdeen obliterates any emotion Brown may have towards the club he led to nine-in-a-row and an historic quadruple treble.
The 36-year-old midfielder will lead out the Dons against the Hoops in a crunch Premiership clash at Pittodrie on Sunday.
It is the first time Brown will face the club where he won 21 trophies since signing on at Pittodrie in a two year deal in the summer.
Crisis-hit Celtic have lost five of their last eight games under new manager Ange Postecoglou and crashed 4-0 to Bayer Leverkusen at home in the Europa League on Thursday.
Glass insists such is Brown’s driving desire to win he will be fired up to end Aberdeen’s own eight game run without victory to pile more pressure on the Hoops.
He said: “It means nothing different to Scott – he is an Aberdeen player and is desperate to win this game.
“Since he has come in he has been the same, so he won’t do anything different.
“However it will maybe show people his determination when they see Scott’s demeanour in trying to win this game.
“People maybe feel that in the back of his mind he still has that feeling for Celtic, which I’m sure there’s something there.
“But the thing Scott has got, bigger than anything, is the desire to win football matches.
“This weekend you won’t see any mixed emotions from Scott.
“I don’t think the Celtic fans and players will expect any different just as we didn’t last year knowing he was coming.”
Scott Brown’s relentless drive to win
In a major signing coup Aberdeen confirmed Brown had agreed a pre-contract before the end of last season.
Securing Brown was the start of boss Stephen Glass’ squad rebuilding process.
Celtic were desperate to retain Brown and even made a last ditch attempt to re-sign their influential skipper when he was on the verge of committing to the Reds.
Brown opted to join Aberdeen until summer 2023 in a player-coach capacity.
That meant Brown had to lead Celtic out in a Premiership post split fixture at Pittodrie last season knowing he would become an Aberdeen player in the summer.
The midfielder started and played 80 minutes in a 1-1 draw on April 21 – his commitment and will to win were not diminished despite coming up against his future team-mates.
Glass said: “Everybody knew this was coming when Scott agreed to come here.
“He has already dealt with a bit when he played for Celtic against us last year and we knew he was coming.
“It won’t affect him.
“The overriding thing for us is that Scott is determined to win football matches game and I don’t think that ever changes.
“That is why he is what he is what he is.”
GOAL! St Mirren 1-1 Aberdeen (Brown, 19)
🗣 "Scrappy to say the least!"
📺 Watch live on Sky Sports Football pic.twitter.com/lz8rXeEmSc
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) September 26, 2021
‘Scott’s experience will be vital for us’
Brown has racked up 12 starts and two appearances off the bench since signing for Aberdeen.
He netted his first goal for the Dons in the 3-2 loss to St Mirren in Paisley as a Christian Ramirez header rebounded off the midfielder’s heel in a congested box and deflected into the net.
Defeat to St Mirren extended Aberdeen’s win without victory to eight games to slump to the club’s worst run of form since 2010.
The Reds have secured just two points from the last possible 15 in the Premiership and have failed to register a clean sheet in 11 matches.
Both Aberdeen and Celtic are struggling to secure victories and Sunday’s clash will be tense and could come down to a battle of wills and who holds their nerve.
Having made more than 600 appearances for Celtic over a 14 year spell at the club, Glass reckons Brown’s presence will be pivotal.
He said: “Scott’s experience will be vital for us.
“He is going to have a lot of scrutiny this week, I am sure.
“Scott has been a player that has come out on the winning side of this fixture on numerous occasions recently.
“We are hoping that happens at the weekend in a red jersey.”
Perfect balance of the player-coach role
Brown’s influence will not just be felt on the pitch on Sunday as he will also have an influence in the build up on the training ground and dressing room.
Glass insists the former Scotland captain is relishing his coaching role at Pittodrie.
He said: “Scott has a huge influence on the group and is very involved with us as a staff.
“He is very involved with the players and balances it perfectly.
“The players also still see Scott as one of them.
“It is a difficult situation he is in but he has the balance unbelievably well.
“The players love having him here and he is a great addition to the staff.
“We are delighted what we are getting from him first and foremost as a player on the pitch.”