Alex McLeish has full faith veteran Celtic captain Scott Brown will decide to retire at the right time.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Rangers and Scotland midfielder warned the 35-year-old not to be “delusional” about how long he can carry on as he recalled how ex-Scotland star Andy Gray
Brown has lost his place in the Celtic side in recent weeks with Ismaila Soro, 22, replacing him in midfield.
Neil Lennon warned ahead of Sunday’s Scottish Cup final that there would be no “sentimentality” when he picks his team for the game against Hearts.
“I think when you’re a player you’ve always got to appreciate that there’s a threat (to your place),” McLeish told Football Insider.
“When I was out injured in my days at Aberdeen or was suspended and there was a player in my place, I was hoping the team would still win but maybe they’d concede a few goals and I’d be straight back in again!
“You always have to be aware of the threat and when you get older and Scott will be thinking ‘how long am I going to keep going? I’ve got a couple of years left in me and if my games are tempered I can get some playing time and I can still bring a lot.’
“Scott will decide that himself, I’m sure. The one thing you don’t want to do is be delusional and think ‘I can go on here forever’. I remember seeing Andy Gray at Rangers and there was a ball over the top and I thought ‘Oh, Andy will lose this guy easily’ and I saw the quicksand situation developing.
“Scott has been an amazing player for Celtic and he’s got all the accolades and he’ll know when it’s time to hang up the boots and go into coaching or management if he wants to stay in the game.”