BRENDAN Rodgers last night stressed he will not pick Scott Brown for sentimental reasons in the Europa League match with Salzburg on Thursday night after leaving his captain out of his starting line-up against Kilmarnock yesterday.

Rodgers selected Callum McGregor ahead of Brown, who has just returned from injury, in central midfield in a game at Parkhead that his side won 5-1 to move back to the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership.

The Northern Irishman now looks set to keep his skipper on the bench in a Group B game against Salzburg that his team need to draw or win in order to progress to the knockout rounds.

"I have compassion for players, especially those that have done amazing for me," he said. "But what I don’t have is sentimentality. It’s clear that the level and the fluency of the team is there.

"I have that compassion for players, but my job is to win games and to win titles. Those two (McGregor and Ryan Christie) along with Tom Rogic have been sensational in how they play.

"I will sit down with my staff and have a look. I know what Scott Brown and Olivier Ntcham can do. I know what the other guys can do too. I will pick a team to get the result."

Meanwhile, Rodgers predicted that Kieran Tierney, who missed the Kilmarnock match with a groin problem, would be fit for the meeting with the Austrians.

“We could have put him in, but it would have been a risk," he said. "There is no need when we have someone like Emilio (Izaguirre) there who I thought was outstanding. He (Tierney) should be fine and ready for Thursday.

"He had a slight issue in and around his groin area and he didn’t want to risk it. Sometimes you have got to think sensibly on it as well. We didn’t want to bring him out and risk provoking it when we have got someone top come in.

"He has got a few days to recover and can hopefully be fit and fresh for a big game on Thursday.”