Alan Hutton has called on dressing room secret weapon Scott Brown to “get into” the rest of the Celtic players to restore morale after Thursday’s shattering defeat to Sparta Prague.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Rangers and Scotland defender lauded the 35-year-old’s position as a “leader” at Parkhead and urged him to lead by example to stop the Hoops’ poor run of form.

The Bhoys saw their slim hopes of qualifying from their Europa League group crushed on Thursday as Sparta Prague beat Neil Lennon’s men 4-1 for the second time this term.

The Glasgow giants have lost three of their four group stage games, while they have also won just once in the league since suffering defeat to Rangers in mid-October.

Hutton has insisted that Brown, who conceded a penalty in last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Hibernian, needs to stand up and be the player who leads Celtic out of their rut.

“I mean, this is a guy who has won everything, all the squad look to him, he’s a leader, and he is a leader, he’s been there from day one for them and he’s always stood up,” Hutton told Football Insider

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“Whether it be taking the blame for things or taking the plaudits, he’s always been there. You see the penalty (v Hibs), he should know better, the ball’s literally going nowhere so it was silly but that’s just him, he’s trying to be aggressive, he’s trying to be up for the game.

“He’s trying to lead by example and it’s just not quite worked for him on that occasion. He’s going to have to get into the players over this Christmas period, how big it is, it’s a real key part for them coming up they’re going to have to get back to winning ways and sharp.”

Brown has started in all but two of his 21 appearances for the Bhoys this season, while he has gone nearly a year without finding the back of the net.

In other Celtic news, Alex McLeish has revealed the players he thinks are “disrupting” the Parkhead dressing room.