Scott Brown has admitted he always knew Rangers would play their best team against his Ayr United side in the Scottish Cup.

The Celtic hero led the Championship outfit to Ibrox earlier this month in the hope of a cup upset but fell to a 2-0 defeat in Glasgow.

Brown - who joined Ayr United after his first management post at Fleetwood - knew it would be a serious challenge to win at Ibrox and was certain with him in the dugout there was little chance of a second-string team for Rangers.

Speaking on A Celtic State of Mind podcast, Brown said: "You get the job and it was already're going to Ibrox. It made the club a lot of money, which was brilliant for us, the budget goes up, great. But I'm thinking 'Yep, I'm sure they're not going to play their second team against me.'

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"As they did, they played their strongest team. But the lads competed extremely well.  You had to be proud of the lads going there, some of them had never played at Ibrox in front of 50,000, and you can see the different steps.

"Rangers were bringing on players on 30k, 40k per week. We brought on a young kid for his debut at 17 for his debut. We actually brought two kids on at 17, they brought on Lundstram and somebody else. It shows you the difference in levels."

Brown did fire a parting shot at Rangers after the cup encounter as he admitted he expected more shouts from the stands. And the former Celtic captain suggested the home crowd were scared because he had "won too much" at Ibrox during his playing career.

"I was expecting a wee bit more," he said. "To be fair they were a wee bit scared because I have won too much here. You know what I mean?"