Scott Brown responds to Celtic fans' criticism of this struggling team-mate Stefan Johansen

Celtic Champions League

Scott Brown has moved to defend Celtic midfielder Stefan Johansen.

Celtic midfielder Scott Brown has told The Scotsman that he thinks Stefan Johansen can take fan criticism on the chin, after a disappointing season.

The Bhoys have been underwhelming this season, and no player quite illustrates their struggles more than midfielder Johansen.

A January 2014 signing from Ronny Deila's former club Stromsgodset, Johansen enjoyed a superb campaign last season, hitting 13 goals in 56 games to fire Celtic to the Scottish Premiership title - and many thought he may end up in the Premier League after some truly outstanding performances.

The 25-year-old went into this season with high expectations, but he has been a major disappointment. With just four goals in 30 appearances, Johansen's goals have certainly dwindled, whilst his all-round performances have been poor too.

Fans have been criticising Johansen throughout the season, given that he looks like a shell of the player they saw last season, and captain Scott Brown has now been asked about Johansen's situation with the Bhoys supporters.

Speaking to The Scotsman, Brown says that he thinks Johansen can handle the criticism from fans, and doesn't believe the Norwegian international has been affected despite his disappointing season so far.

"Stefan is definitely big enough and ugly enough to take that on the chin," said Brown. "He is a talented boy, he was PFA Scotland Player of the Year last season. That shows you how good a player he is and he has also been linked with moves here, there and everywhere. He is a top player. It’s down to everyone having their own opinion of players. Some people really like him, some don’t."

"Stefan goes out there and runs as far as anyone, tackles as much as anyone. He has great quality on the ball. He is a good player for us to have in our team. Everyone deals with it in their own way. Stefan comes in every morning and is cheerful. He’s no different this season than he was last season. So you don’t want to make it too big an issue," he added.

What have you thought of Johansen's performances this season?

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