Midfielder Ross McCrorie is ready to go “into the trenches” with Scott Brown next season.
Celtic skipper Brown, 35, has signed a pre-contract to move to Aberdeen in the summer as a player-coach under new boss Stephen Glass.
The Parkhead legend rejected the offer of a new one-year deal at Celtic in favour of a two-year contract with the Reds.
McCrorie has battled head-to-head with Brown with Aberdeen and during his time at Rangers.
And the 22-year-old, who will today face Dumbarton away in the Scottish Cup, has hailed his addition as a major signing for the Reds.
McCrorie said: “I have played against Scott Brown down the years and he is someone I would definitely take into the trenches with me. He is a battler and is also very good technically as well.
“It is a great signing for the club as he is a legend at Celtic and is a top player who has won a lot of trophies.
“It will be brilliant, not just on the playing side but the coaching side as well.”
McCrorie reckons Brown can help take the Dons’ young midfield – which also comprises Lewis Ferguson and Dean Campbell – to the next level.
He said: “The young boys can learn off him and I cannot think of anyone better to come into the club to learn from.
“He will have a lot of experiences he can bring to the team which will be good and we can all feed off that.
“We can obviously take bits and bobs from his game as he is a top midfielder.
“He can come in and share his experiences with us and will also show us things on the training side.
“I am really looking forward to working with Scott Brown, but that is going to be next season.
“Right now we have a lot of games to play before we finish the season and I am also looking forward to when the new gaffer comes in as well.”
Before Brown arrives in the summer, McCrorie will have to play against his former team-mate when Celtic come to Pittodrie on April 21.
It will be business as usual as the two battle it out against one another.
He said: “I have played against Scott Brown for the majority of my first-team career.
“He will be with us at the start of next season but right now he is an opponent.
“That is the way it is and we take each game as it comes.”
Interim boss Paul Sheerin will be in the dugout today for the Scottish Cup clash with Dumbarton.
Newly-appointed boss Stephen Glass will miss today’s third-round tie and next weekend’s trip to St Johnstone as he will be in quarantine, having flown in from the USA.
Aberdeen have netted just once in 10 games and McCrorie accepts that drought must end today.
The tie is played to a finish – with penalties if required.
He said: “We know where we have to improve, scoring goals has been a problem for us this season – it has been a big problem and you can’t get away from it.
“It hasn’t been good enough and we have to make it better.
“I thought certain aspects of the Dundee United game (1-0 loss), the build-up play, was very good, but it’s the final third bit that hasn’t been clicking.
“Once we can get that working properly, we will be okay.
“The form we have been in the last month or so has been frustrating, but hopefully we can change things at Dumbarton.
“The Scottish Cup is a target for Aberdeen every season and we would love to win it this season.”
McCrorie will today return to Dumbarton where he spent the last three months of the season on loan from Rangers in 2017.
He attributes the lower league side to instilling a strong mentality in him.
McCrorie said: “Ian Durrant brought me in to Dumbarton and I had a great time there.
“It was a massive loan for me, because at that age, 18, I didn’t want to be playing youth football any more.
“I’d been with Ayr and helped them get promoted and then I got the chance to go to Dumbarton to help in a relegation battle.
“The fact it was a relegation battle taught me about the other side of the game, the mental side.
“That has helped me get to where I am today, because you have to be mentally strong.”
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— EveningExpress Sport (@ee_sport) April 2, 2021