Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass hopes Pittodrie-bound Scott Brown is dropped by Celtic tonight.
Glass would prefer Brown sit out the Premiership clash at Pittodrie, because he is so dangerous – not because he will join Aberdeen in the summer.
Not because Scott is coming here, but my preference is that he doesn’t play.
“I don’t want their best players playing and I think Scott Brown is one of their best players.”
Glass is confident that, such is Brown’s professionalism, there will be no conflict of interest if the Celtic captain comes up against his future Dons team-mates tonight.
With Aberdeen fighting to finish third, he does not want Brown leading the Hoops.
Glass revealed he talked briefly with Brown on Sunday, but neither discussed tonight’s game out of respect for Celtic.
While Glass hopes Celtic will be minus their skipper, the Dons boss is set to miss his own captain as Joe Lewis is doubtful with a rib injury.
However, fears Lewis’ season could be over were allayed as X-rays confirmed no ribs were broken.
Glass said: “Not because Scott is coming here, but my preference is that he doesn’t play.
“I don’t want their best players playing and I think Scott Brown is one of their best players.
“I would be delighted if he sat at the side, but they do have a very good group of players anyway.
“They have people desperate to show they should be the next Scott Brown at the club.
“It is not my decision if Scott plays or not.
“I do know if he does play what he will offer the team.
“I know what his mentality will be.
“Scott is the ultimate professional, that is why we want him here, and if he is on the pitch he will be trying to win for Celtic.”
Brown started the 2-0 Scottish Cup defeat at Rangers and played for the whole 90 minutes.
Interim Celtic manager John Kennedy has confirmed he has no issues with naming Brown in the squad to face Aberdeen, but could opt to drop the Parkhead captain to the bench as he manages the veteran’s game time.
Glass accepts it is a difficult situation for both Kennedy and Brown.
He said: “I spoke to him (Brown) briefly on Sunday.
“I text him and spoke to him on Sunday night to see how he was doing.
“I then said I will speak to him again on Wednesday night after the game.
“It is a difficult situation for him and John.
“In order for Scott’s respect and John, he can look John in the eyes and say we haven’t talked about the game, shape or anything.
“Scott has been respectful from the start and I think it is important that he feels no pressure on him from this side of the fence.”
Glass is set to be without keeper Lewis for tonight’s clash due to injury.
The 33-year-old, who had played every minute of every game until suffering a rib injury at the weekend, was substituted in the first half of the Scottish Cup penalty shoot-out defeat of Livingston.
Lewis suffered a rib injury in an accidental collision and, despite carrying on for 15 minutes, had to be replaced by No.2 Gary Woods, on loan from Oldham Athletic, as he was in so much pain.
Although X-rays confirmed Lewis did not suffer any broken ribs, Glass insists the keeper is still in considerable pain and doubtful for the Celtic clash.
He said: “Joe is still in a bit of pain.
“He took a real whack to his ribs.
“They are not broken, which is great, but when you take a whack to the ribs you know it is a sore one.
“We need to see how he is, but he is probably doubtful.
“Gary performed great at the weekend, so we have a very able No. 2 who could get his opportunity now.”
While he is set to be ruled out tonight, Glass is relieved Lewis will be available for the push for third and the Scottish Cup campaign.
However, they will not rush back the club captain prematurely.
Glass said: “As with any player, you want them back as quickly as you can.
“Some of it is within pain thresholds, when you hurt your ribs at the best of times, but with a goalkeeper you are a little bit more exposed, you are landing on it and really stretching when you dive.
“We need to be careful with him that it doesn’t get worse if he tries to do something too early.
“Joe is sensible and Adam Stokes (head of medical and sports science) is sensible, so we will get him back as quickly as we can.”
On this week's Northern Goal podcast:
🔴 Can Niall McGinn play his way to a new @AberdeenFC deal?
🔴 Who will be boss Stephen Glass' skipper next season?
— EveningExpress Sport (@ee_sport) April 20, 2021