Scott Brown claims Graeme Shinnie wasn’t good enough to boot him out of the Scottish Cup Final.

Felled by a late challenge from the Aberdeen captain in last Sunday’s 1-0 defeat by the Dons, Brown insists he’ll be fit to lead Celtic out against Motherwell at Hampden.

But, in a withering verbal response to Shinnie’s claim that ‘what comes around goes around’, the Parkhead captain likened his opposite number’s challenge to ‘a little boy’s tackle’ and said it was evidence that the Dons midfielder lacks quality.

Celtic captain Scott Brown is sent flying by a bad tackle from Graeme Shinnie

Celtic captain Scott Brown is sent flying by a bad tackle from Graeme Shinnie

Celtic captain Scott Brown is sent flying by a bad tackle from Graeme Shinnie

‘The ankle’s fine. It takes more than that to keep me down,’ said Brown as he was named Player of the Year by SPFL sponsors Ladbrokes. ‘It was a Graeme Shinnie tackle. It sums him up really. He was saying that he got close to the ball. But I watched it back and it is kind of a little boy’s tackle – waiting until I was past him. My pace (has) obviously done him in his prime and I got past him.’

Aberdeen were angered by a Brown challenge on Kenny McLean in the second half, which saw the Celtic star booked, prompting Shinnie to say: ‘There were a few nasty tackles, including one by myself. They (Celtic) weren’t happy about it, but I’ve been on the receiving end of many of them in my time. So, what comes around goes around.’

Brown squared up to his Aberdeen counterpart after the foul at Celtic Park

Brown squared up to his Aberdeen counterpart after the foul at Celtic Park

Brown squared up to his Aberdeen counterpart after the foul at Celtic Park

That drew an angry retort from Brown who said: ‘I think Graeme runs about, he tackles, stuff like that.

‘He’s not got great quality, but he does the best he possibly can.

‘It’s the only thing he can probably do to try and stop us – to try and make a bad tackle. To be fair on him, it was a good bad tackle.’

The target of dangerous challenges in recent months from Aberdeen’s Sam Cosgrove, Ross County’s Andrew Davies, Steven Naismith of Hearts and now Shinnie, Brown allayed concerns he might miss Saturday’s cup final with Motherwell.

‘My ankle locks now and then,’ he said. ‘It has got no ligaments left in it.. It kind of locked. I just needed to open it up again.

‘I was thinking: “Thank goodness I still wear those grandad shinpads that come all the way around and protect everything…”

‘It wasn’t too bad. I’ve had worse, but it wasn’t great, especially at the time of year.’

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