Mark Wilson believes that because opposition players can’t get close to Celtic captain Scott Brown on the park they have resorted to more crude methods in order to halt his progress.

Aberdeen’s Graeme Shinnie is the latest player to have earmarked Brown out for a late tackle, with the Pittodrie midfielder admitting some culpability after Sunday’s game at Celtic Park when he said a post-match television interview: “what comes around, goes around.”

It irked Wilson, who feared that Brown could have missed the Scottish Cup final this weekend given the pernicious nature of the challenge – the latest in a series of them on the Celtic midfielder.

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“I thought the tackle on him on Sunday was a shocker,” said Wilson. “One or two of those challenges and I’d have thought it was a coincidence but they are now tallying up and you see how bad they are.

“The one at Celtic Park from Andrew Davies was an absolute shocker, Naismith the other week was an absolute shocker and Cosgrove at Aberdeen was a shocker.

“And Graeme Shinnie’s here was a bad one. I think Broony has had problems with his ankles. People say it was a nothing game for Celtic but that could have put him out of the cup final.

“I don’t know if it’s people just want to try to get near him because he’s been on such a high level, no midfielder has really touched him this season. The young boy at Hearts, Harry Cochrane, had a good game against him at Tynecastle but apart from that no-one has really touched him.

“I don’t know if it’s just frustration in other players thinking if I can’t get near him in a football sense I’m going to try to leave something a mark on him.

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“But I thought the one on Sunday was a bit naughty, going into the last ten minutes of the game but Scott takes it well.”

Brown will celebrate a testimonial game on Sunday afternoon against Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland team and Wilson has insisted that there is more to the Celtic player than meets the eye.

There is a suggestion that Brown’s machismo and jack-the-lad persona is the hallmark of his game but his former team-mate has maintained that there is another side to the recently retired Scotland internationalist.

And the very qualities that mark Brown out as the man that fans and other players love to hate are the ones that Wilson has warned have been badly lacking in Rangers this season.

“I always hear Rangers fans saying how much they hate Scott Brown but it would be different if they knew him,” he said. “He epitomises everything that Rangers have been missing. Fight, desire, leadership - he’s got everything they’ve been needing.

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“That’s probably why they don’t like him - but they’d take him in a minute.

“I don’t think Scott would be too quick to go though!”

And Wilson has pointed to Brown’s leadership qualities off the park are as important to Celtic as what he does on match day.

“He’s such a likeable guy in the dressing room, which is important as a captain,” said Wilson. “He’s approachable and you can have a laugh. He’s the joker in the pack but he’s got that serious streak to him as well.

“Players warm to it, especially the foreign lads coming in. He is the class clown at times but his banter is never malicious.

“When the boys came in they could see the respect we had for him. They knew what he was all about and not just some daft wee boy who liked playing pranks.

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“They all took to it. It’s hard to find these kind of players that everyone in the dressing room gets on with.

“It was interesting to hear him speak the other night about his diet and that’s not easy when you’ve been set in your ways after eight years at the top level.”

Doing the “broony” has become an entity in its own at Celtic Park with the midfielder’s infamous celebration born at Ibrox during a pulsating Cup game when he netted and then raised his arms aloft into the face of El Hadji Diouf.

“It just fell perfectly that Diouf was right next to him,” recalled Wilson. “The two them were winding each other up in the game before and it continued at Ibrox.

“They were going at it in the tunnel at half-time but we managed to get Broony to the dressing room before it really kicked off.

“You just couldn’t write it the way the goal worked out. It was incredible.

“The fans loved him by that stage but as soon as he did that celebration it took him to a whole new level. It was God-like status after that.

“Everyone remembers the Broony but the goal was fantastic. He’s not scored many better and it was in such an important game.

“We were going away with Scotland after the game and we were sharing a room. We had a few beers and it was a great night up at Mar Hall.

“It had been a hard fought game, 2-2 with 10 men, and we were knackered. But we had a great night chatting about it.”