Celtic ace Brown: Italy my biggest game

Celtic ace Scott Brown admits Scotland's clash with Italy is the biggest game of his fledgling career.

"This game is a bit different," he told The Scotsman as the squad prepared for the match at the team hotel at Loch Lomond yesterday. "It's probably the biggest game I have ever played in. If we win and go through, it will be the biggest thing in Scottish football for ten years. Everyone wants us to go through, so there is a lot of pressure on us to perform.

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"I haven't been under as much pressure as this before in a game. The CIS Cup final with Hibs last season was the most pressure I have been under up to now and that wasn't as much pressure as this one."

Not that anyone should read any diminishment of confidence in Brown's remarks. On the contrary, he is already contemplating the potential rewards beyond a defeat of Italy in the form of being part of the first Scotland team to make it beyond the initial group stage of a major tournament finals.

"If we get there, we are looking forward to playing more of the world's top teams and maybe getting beyond the first stage of a finals which no Scottish team has done before," he said. "It would be wonderful if we could do that. We just have to look at Saturday's game right now, but if we win it we would be going to the finals with a lot of confidence after knocking out the world champions."

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