THE fantastic domestic run Celtic find themselves on just now should not be underestimated or played down in any way.
Take a step back and think about it. It is now 67 games undefeated and the manager, players and coaching staff have had to put in an unbelievable effort – mentally and physically – to achieve it.
The fact it has now reached 67 is a significant figure, of course, with the greatest achievement in the club’s history – the European Cup win – coming in 1967.
When the amount of games unbeaten reached around the 35-40 mark, that’s when the talk of records being broken and the Invincibles really started.
It has grown with every passing game since then, so every player, manager and supporter of every other club will have been desperate to be the team to bring it all to an end.
Indeed, one of the biggest compliments I can pay is that I believe that when the run does come to an end, it will create more headlines than any other domestic victory Celtic will get this season.
The next domestic defeat for the Hoops will be the lead sports story in the UK for the day, that’s for sure.
Brendan Rodgers has to take a lot of credit for the past 18 months. He has revitalised the club and improved many of the players.
He has also taken them into the Champions League two years on the trot, and last Sunday became the first manager to win four successive domestic trophies since Jock Stein.
This has led to many people in the game, on both sides of the border, speculating that Brendan may want to leave and will be targeted by ‘bigger clubs’ down south.
I think talk such as that is hugely disappointing and disrespectful.
I’ve even heard people say that Brendan may be fed up with the lack of competition in Scotland, given the fact that they take three points in almost every game.
Listen, I’ve never known any manager to moan about winning every week.
Why is it that when a manager is doing well, there is talk that he will be ready to move on?
And, equally, why is it that when a manager loses a few games, many people have him down as being under pressure and just 90 minutes away from the sack?
On both fronts, it’s very unfair and wrong to speculate.
In the case of Brendan Rodgers, why can’t we just leave him to get on with his job, and allow his relationship with Celtic to continue?
Only the man himself can tell us if he feels differently.
Unless I’m mistaken, when he has been doing his media conferences, Brendan has never stated that he wants to leave.
One or two jobs have been available down south in the past month or so – West Ham and Everton, for example – yet he has remained at Celtic.
That doesn’t mean to say he has knocked them back, but whichever way you look at it, he is still at Celtic.
Right now, his focus will be on Tuesday night’s game against Anderlecht in the Champions League.
Celtic only need to avoid defeat to progress to the Europa League stage, and to finish third in the group would be a sign of progress.
When the draw was made, everyone at Celtic stated that the aim was to remain in Europe beyond Christmas. They are now 90 minutes away from achieving their aim.
I expect Brendan and his players will want to do more than just avoid defeat on Tuesday.
In front of 60,000 fans, under the floodlights, they will want to put on a performance and also get their first home win in the Champions League this season.
Last term, against Barcelona, Manchester City and Borussia Moenchengladbach, they only took one point from a possible nine.
So, again, to win this midweek will be another step in the right direction.
There will no doubt be a fantastic atmosphere inside Celtic Park for this game, and the players will be absolutely ready for it.
Led by captain Scott Brown, they will want to put on a performance against the Belgian side.
I would never take anything for granted, but I do fancy Celtic to win the game. They have improved in Europe this season.
Sure, some will point out they lost 5-0 and 7-1 to PSG, and I accept that is far from ideal. However, the French champions are operating on a different level to their Scottish counterparts, and that’s why such results do happen.
So, I’m going for a positive result for Celtic, and then we will see what the draw for the last 32 in the Europa League brings them.
That will also be a tough competition – but at least there won’t be any sides in it with the quality of PSG!