CELTIC have conceded four goals in in seven games since their catastrophic 4-3 defeat from Cluj to send them hurtling out of the Champions League.

And three of the quartet of conceded strikes have come following penalty-kicks with only Dunfermline sneaking one in without the aid of a deadball effort in the narrow 2-1 League Cup victory for the holders at Parkhead in last month.

Scott Bain suffered a hand injury in the flop against the Romanians and his club and country team-mate Craig Gordon took over for the extra-time triumph over the Fifers the following weekend.

He was still in place for the 2-0 Europa League play-off success against AIK Stockholm before the return of Fraser Forster on a season-long loan from Southampton ahead of transfer deadline day.

The towering Englishman, who left for the south coast outfit in a £10million switch five years ago, has played in four of the outings and he looked commanding in the 1-1 draw with Rennes in the Europa League group opener in France on Thursday evening.

Forster reckons a reason for the Hoops backline steadying in recent outings has been due to the understanding he is building with fellow-skyscrapers Kristoffer Ajer and Christopher Jullien.

The ex-England international No.1, speaking to the Evening Times, said: “It’s the spine of the team. Everyone builds those relationships with the players around them. All over the park it is important to build upon those relationships.”

“I think [Ajer and Jullien] have been brilliant. The more games they play together, the more that partnership will build and build.

“I think they’ve done really well, they’re good on the ball, they get on the ball and play from the back which is good.”

Ajer, of course, conceded a cheap penalty-kick against the French outfit which was tucked away with some aplomb by star striker M’baye Niang.

It was a rash moment from the Norwegian and one of two penalty-kick awards blundering referee Jose Sanchez actually got right.

But Forster was not pointing the finger of blame at his young defensive team-mate.

He added: “The penalty is a penalty and that can happen to anyone, but, no, I’ve been very impressed by the two of them.

“They are two very good players and I imagine they will get better and better.

“We’re three big lads, and the more we play together as a back four or back five, the more we’ll get used to playing together and form that partnership.”

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