Christopher Jullien predicts “hungry” Celtic will roar back from defeat to Rangers by putting together a lengthy winning league run.
Beaten by Livingston at the start of October – a game in which the Frenchman struggled – the Hoops responded with 11 straight Premiership victories.
That streak ended with the derby reverse on December 29. But Jullien believes it can once again prove the catalyst for more success.
“Defeat is always something you can learn from,” said the defender, as he looked ahead to Wednesday night’s return to league action at Kilmarnock’s Rugby Park.
“Livingston was just not a good day for us. But that loss probably made us become stronger.
“I say that because after that game, we had some very good results – and not just in the league either. We went to Rome in the Europa League and beat Lazio.
“Now we are coming back after another defeat. I know it’s going to be the same answer because I see everything that we are putting in on the field in training.
“I look in my team-mates’ eyes and see that we are angry. We are hungry and we want to show that it was just a bad step.
“If we trust in ourselves, it’s going to be good.”
Although the derby was a day to forget for those wearing green-and-white hoops generally, Kristoffer Ajer came in for particular criticism.
The Norwegian was the man delegated to mark Nikola Katic at set-pieces, and his failure to get near the Croat at Rangers’ winning goal was a source of despair for Hoops supporters.
However, just as Jullien expects Celtic to mount a strong collective comeback, so he is confident his fellow defender can quickly put the error behind him.
“Kristoffer missed one aerial challenge. Just one,” said Jullien.
“People have focused on it and talked about it. But this is how it is at Celtic. The expectation, it’s normal here.
“This is what happens when you are champions.
“When you want to win everything, you want to crush everything and compete. It’s how it is.
“It shows that Celtic is a really big club. The expectation is really high and we understand that.
“I just know Kris is going to bounce back, and show everyone his quality.
“He has been at Celtic for a long time and done a lot of really good stuff. He is still young and he has a really bright future.
“He is not an international player for nothing. He can do everything – he is really quick, and he is good with the ball.
“I play alongside him, and I would say he is one of the players who makes me feel really good on the field.
“Even though he is younger than me, he speaks really well on the field. That was what I needed when I arrived.
“I’m just happy to have him on my side.
“If some people doubt him, I have no doubt he will show he is a really good player.”