Roberts has big part to play in Celtic title bid, says Brown

By Liam McLeodBBC Scotland
Patrick Roberts scored twice for Celtic in the win over Hearts
Roberts scored twice for Celtic in the win over Hearts
Scottish Premiership: Dundee v Celtic
Date: Tuesday, 5 April Venue: Dens Park, Dundee Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Updates on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online and BBC Sport website

Scott Brown expects Patrick Roberts to play a significant role in Celtic's quest for a fifth successive title.

Roberts, 19, scored his first Celtic goals with an impressive double in Saturday's 3-1 win over Hearts.

The winger arrived in January on an 18-month loan from Manchester City, who had signed him from Fulham for £12m.

"He's in great form just now and you want the people in fine form to keep playing and for the wee man to get confidence," said Celtic captain Brown.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi
Roberts has been encouraged to play like Barcelona's Lionel Messi

"Football is all about confidence and when someone is playing well and flying you need to continue playing them.

"He shows every day in training that he's technically very, very gifted and he's a good lad in the changing room as well.

"You don't get signed at Manchester City at that age if you're not a top quality player.

"He showed his worth the other day that's for sure."

Messi the benchmark for Roberts
Celtic assistant manager John Collins: "I don't like comparing him to the best player in the world, which in my opinion is [Lionel] Messi. But you can see where people get the resemblances."He is left-footed. He likes to take people on and if he ends up half as good as Messi then he has done well."That has got to be his target, to try to emulate what Lionel Messi does week-in, week-out, which is score goals, create chances."He is one of those players who gets you on the edge of your seat."

Celtic can extend their lead over Aberdeen at the top of the Premiership to seven points if they win at Dundee on Tuesday.

The Dons face a difficult visit to Hearts on Friday, with Celtic travelling to Motherwell on Saturday.

And Brown wants the title settled sooner rather than later.

"It would be lovely," he said, as he aims for a sixth league winners' medal with Celtic.

"But if not, then we'll keep playing and keep winning games and hopefully keep the run going.

"The main thing for us is to get over the line and as long as we do that it doesn't matter how we do it.

"It might be ugly, it might not but we know what it's all about and we need to continue putting points on the board.

"If we manage to go seven points clear with a few games to go then it would give you a confidence boost as well and the way the lads have been playing the last couple of weeks it's been showing."

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