New club captain Scott Brown has issued a defiant message ahead of leading out Aberdeen for the first time – he’s not changing for anyone.
The 36-year-old will skipper the Dons in tonight’s Uefa Europa Conference League clash with BK Hacken at Pittodrie.
Renowned for his no-nonsense combative edge Brown accepts he winds up supporters – including the Red Army whilst at Celtic.
He will not tone down his edge.
Brown is confident he will turn from villain to hero for Dons supporters as he makes his competitive debut in front of 5,665 fans.
He said: “I’m not going to change my game for anybody.
“I’ve had arguments with a few fans, not just at Aberdeen.
“There have been a few at Celtic, Rangers, you name them.
“They know what I bring. I tackle and I’m there to win no matter who I play for.
“Now I’m at Aberdeen, I’ll give 110 per cent.
“Winning drives me on and gives me that passion.”
Emotional first game as a Don at Pittodrie
The measure of Brown’s will to win was underlined following the recent 0-0 closed door pre-season draw with St Johnstone when he insisted ‘there is no such thing as friendly games’.
During a trophy laden 14 year career at Parkhead, former Celtic captain Brown played in 123 European matches – many of them in the Champions League.
Asked if he expects the same emotion and adrenaline running out in Europe for Aberdeen as he did with the Hoops, Brown said: “Definitely.
“With almost 6,000 fans, it will be great for my first game at Pittodrie.
“It’s been almost a year and a half since I played in front of a stadium.
“It’s not the same. Football needs that passion and fans drive you on.
“They are the 12th man and they help you out.
“The make you did that bit deeper.”
🔴 Thursday night's match with BK Hacken is now SOLD OUT!
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) July 20, 2021
Brown’s focus solely on BK Hacken tie
As Celtic captain Brown led the Hoops out in Champions League group games against Euro giants like Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, AC Milan, Manchester United, Manchester City and Paris St Germain.
There is no current Scottish player more qualified to captain a side in Europe.
Such is his experience he will not be side-tracked by thoughts of leading the Dons into the lucrative group stages – all focus is on a BK Hacken side 12 games into their league campaign.
BK Hacken extended their winning run to four games with a 1-0 victory at IFK Norrkoping on Sunday.
Leo Bengtsson stod för ett av fjolårets snyggaste mål när han avgjorde bortamatchen mot IFK Norrköping. Får vi se ett nytt drömmål från ”Bjässen” idag? pic.twitter.com/7GS6YrKHlM
— BK Häcken (@bkhackenofcl) July 18, 2021
He said: “We are taking it one game at a time and need to get through Hacken.
“We aren’t getting too focused on the group stages or what we can do throughout the season. We’re just concentrating on Hacken.
“They will be two hard games, they have a new manager (Per-Mathias Hogmo) and are setting up a little bit differently.
“They’ve had some good results recently and a few cleans sheets as well.
“Hacken will be confident the same as us.”
Aberdeen club captain Brown- aka ‘Hybrid’
The last time Brown walked out at Pittodrie he was Celtic captain in a 1-1 draw on April 21 having already agreed a pre-contract with the Reds.
Brown officially joined in the summer on a two contract in a player-coaching role.
The former Scotland captain has been given the nickname ‘Hybrid’ by his new team-mates.
Brown explained why.
He said: “Joe (Lewis) started the nickname because I am getting the best of both worlds!
“I am in the dressing room with the lads but also in with the coaches doing all the work that goes into it.
“I am trying to learn as much as I can now.”
Aberdeen recently confirmed Brown would captain the team with keeper Lewis, who has worn the armband for the past two seasons, named as club captain to oversee off field and community matters.
Brown said: “Joe has done a fantastic job and it’s just because I will be further up the park than he will be.
“It is about dictating play and helping the younger lads out because I have experience and if I can help them any way possible then I’m willing to do it.
“Joe is fantastic about the building, he always has been and always will be.
“The lads have so much respect for him, as do I. We get on great.
“Do I see it as a job share? Yes, Joe is always going to be like that because it’s natural for him.
“He’s great at dealing with the lads, sorting the bonuses, speaking to the management staff – doing everything a captain does.
“That’s what he’s done and I am just here to help him on the field, off the field or if he needs a second pair of hands.”
Celtic is in the past, it is now Aberdeen
The Euro tie with BK Hacken signifies a new chapter in Brown’s glittering career.
He won 21 trophies with Celtic and led the Parkhead club to nine-in-a-row and an unparalleled Quadruple-Treble.
However that is in the past. Aberdeen, and leading his new club to success, are all that matters – starting against BK Hacken.
He said: “There has been a lot of talk about how long I was at Celtic but Aberdeen is my main focus now and I have really enjoyed it so far.
“The lads at Aberdeen have been great and working with the staff has been great.
“More enjoyment will come when we get over that white line and it becomes serious.
“Hopefully we’ll be winning games and playing good football.”