Scottish Premier League

Brown hoping for Hearts favour

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Fri, 03 May 2013 17:55:00

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has been charged with breaching his touchline ban, the Scottish Football Association has confirmed.

Lennon has been accused of breaking the terms of his three-match suspension by being in the "playing zone" within 15 minutes of the final whistle of Celtic's 3-1 defeat by Motherwell on Sunday.

He will now face an SFA hearing on 23 May - three days before Celtic face Hibernian in the Scottish Cup final, raising the prospect of him being confined to the Hampden stands.

The former Celtic skipper revealed he had been summoned to the Fir Park match officials' room by referee Euan Norris after the second match of his three-game ban.

Lennon told Sky Sports on Sunday: "He (Norris) called me into his room. It was about a number of things but we'll leave that confidential for now."

The Celtic boss had seen a suspended three-match ban triggered by an SFA charge for using offensive language towards St Mirren captain Jim Goodwin.

Kilmarnock boss Kenny Shiels also found himself in trouble on Friday, incurring an SFA notice of complaint.

Shiels, who has been involved in a public row with Lennon over the PFA Scotland player of the year shortlist, has been accused of breaking two rules over comments he made in a media interview this week.

Lennon had compared Shiels to comic character David Brent following the Kilmarnock manager's withering reaction to his counterpart's criticism of the lack of Celtic players on the awards shortlist.

But Shiels landed in hot water after telling BBC Radio Scotland: "(Celtic) have got a massive influence in the judicial panel and things like that, decisions that's made. Celtic are the monster of Scottish football."

The Killlie manager has been accused of both bringing the game into disrepute and not acting in the best interests of football by making comments that "call into question the impartiality of the Judicial Panel and the integrity of another member club of the Scottish FA".

Kilmarnock have, in addition, effectively been charged with failing to control their manager.

The Rugby park club have been accused of breaking rule 2, by "failing to procure that one of your team officials, namely Kenny Shiels, Manager, acts in accordance with Disciplinary Rule 1 and complies with the Judicial Panel Protocol)."

Brown has turned up the heat on Danny Lennon's League Cup winners all week as the Dark Blues look to cut the gap on the Buddies to just five points.

Brown, who on Wednesday was named Manager of the Month for an impressive April, has worked wonders to keep the Taysiders in with a fighting chance of staying up as they prepare to host Aberdeen on Sunday while Saints face a tricky trip to Hearts tomorrow.

And Brown said: "It's crunch time.

"It's obviously going to be an important weekend for all concerned so we'll see how things pan out.

"We hope Hearts can do us a turn by beating St Mirren.

"If they can do that, then we'll look to do our bit on Sunday by getting a positive result against Aberdeen.

"That has got to be the way we approach it,

"We're on a decent run of form and if there is any opportunity to cut the gap further then we have to try and seize the opportunity."

Brown has led his side to three straight wins in April in their point-blank refusal to concede relegation but he insists it is all down to the players he inherited from previous boss Barry Smith back in February.

He added: "I take my hat off to them.

"They've been brilliant from the start.

"I never had half a mind that it would be over soon. Never would I think like that.

"I always felt as though we would claw it back; how much we would claw back is down to the players getting the results.

"Considering we only had three victories in 27 coming in then I thought we could only go one way, and it was about getting the team organised and working until the last whistle.

"I had seen some of the performances of Dundee. They had been putting up a strong case but not getting the results.

"There's no secret.

"I just put the demands on the players in training.

"There was a slackness in training, and they changed that. The ones who have continued to be slack are not in the side, the one who are showing a high tempo from Monday to Friday...I always say the way you train is the way you play.

"So if you play at a high intensity and train at a high intensity it gives you half a chance going into matches."

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