Former Celtic striker John Hartson backs Scott Brown to bounce back after poor run of form

The Hoops skipper has not enjoyed his best spell since returning from injury.

John Hartson has dismissed suggestions that Scott Brown is finished and insisted that the Celtic captain still has the ability to dictate games, The Scottish Sun reports.

The 30-year-old has been a stalwart of the Hoops side ever since his arrival in 2007, but has spent a considerable amount of time out injured this season. 

He returned to Ronny Deila's side in January having made just one appearance in the previous three months, but has come in for criticism having not looked the same player since before his injury. 

And after watching Rangers' Andy Halliday comfortably win the battle between the pair in the middle of the park during the Scottish Cup semi-final, some have questioned whether the skipper's days at the highest level are drawing to a close.

But Hartson has refuted the suggestion and has claimed that he is so confident that Brown has still got the quality to control games that if he was Celtic boss, he would make the Scotland star the focal point of the side.

"I don't agree that Scott is finished. He covers as much ground as anyone else," he told The Scottish Sun.

"Scott can control games. He didn't on Sunday, but he can do it. If I got the Celtic job I would build my team around him."

Although Brown has not been at his best since his return, he will surely have a key part to play next season under the new boss at Parkhead. 

The side currently boasts several younger or inexperienced players that will need a leader to galvanize them as they look to make an impression on the European stage while also keeping their Old Firm rivals at bay in the Scottish Premiership.

And after having a rest at the end of the season, Brown will surely be the man that the new manager turns to to help make the transition as seamless as possible. 

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch