It certainly wasn’t a rant or an outburst but after drawing last night at Motherwell Brendan Rodgers explained that he can’t just rely on 11 players.

For various reasons the Celtic boss had to make a number of changes for the game at Fir Park but none of the players brought in managed to ‘do a Ryan Christie’.

Over the last six or seven weeks as Celtic became more recognisable with the Double Treble winners a smallish group of players became central to that success.

A winning run in the SPFL, back-to-back wins in the Europa League and retaining the Betfred Cup were all welcome signs of progress but before the year is out there are a number of major challenges.

Over a period of just over a fortnight the hoops will host RB Salzburg before punishing visits to Easter Road, Pittodrie and Ibrox.

After publicly expressing his doubts about his squad depth there is a greater emphasis than ever on the players that produced as autumn turned into winter.

The big hitters are likely to be back against Kilmarnock on Saturday but after the draw at Motherwell it looks like Rodgers will have to put his trust in a small group to deliver Europa League football and a lead at the top of the SPFL going into the new year.