We have had a couple of scares in December, that late Hamilton equaliser and a solid hour of failing to form a coherent attack at Hampden, but chances have flowed like cheap prosecco at a Christmas party in our last three outings against Hibs, Hearts and Aberdeen.
Those games should have returned more than six goals but conversion rates tend to vary match-to-match, hopefully we will see a return to the norm in the two remaining games before the winter break.
Like Celtic, Thursday’s opponents, St Mirren, are also enjoying an excellent December. They were on their own at the bottom of the table after losing to Motherwell on the first game this month, but three games later are now 9th, four clear of the bottom. Jim Goodwin has made them difficult to beat.
This month Celtic have had the look of a team who are pacing themselves. Players have been allowed to ease back to fitness. Odsonne Edouard has not played a full 90 minutes top-flight football since 10 November – and that was one of only two 90-minute performances in domestic football since Celtic lost to Livingston 11 weeks ago.
In the week ahead, I hope we see the benefit of Neil Lennon’s patience in allowing Odsonne to ease himself back into the game. For all the talk of our dependence on the big striker, his absence has not been evident in the results.
Of no less importance is the return of Mikey Johnston, not just for his ability to occupy defenders, but because when he is in the team we are more likely to see James Forrest and Ryan Christie return to their more natural positions. It would be good to see them both start on Thursday.