It seems like it is one step forward and two steps backwards at the minute with Celtic.

I thought that Red Bull Salzburg were a decent team based on the evidence of Thursday night’s game. But Celtic made them look way better than what they are.

They aren’t an elite European team.

They played well, they played as a unit and they out Celtic under a lot of pressure but if you are going to give away cheap goals at this level then you are always going to give yourself a problem.

I thought Mikael Lustig and Jack Hendry could both have done better in that respect, although I would have to say that I think Hendry has become the targetman for carrying all of Celtic’s defensive ills this season.

And I think that is a bit unfair.

He needs to simplify his game. He needs to not take so many touches and just do the basics just now.

Lustig, though, I thought was sloppy at the first goal and he just looks off the pace at the minute.

But then given the sheer inconsistency of Celtic at the minute there are so many that you could apply that to.

Olivier Ntcham is at one stage of the thermometer – he is either as hot as it gets or he is freezing. You don’t seem to get him in the middle.

The only game this season where we have seen him really get going was against Rangers when Celtic beat them at Celtic Park but other than that he has drifted in and out of games without ever getting to the standard that we saw at times last term.

I don’t know if that comes down to the fact that his head was turned by the chat of a move this summer and a bigger salary elsewhere but ultimately as a player you know that if you are going to get that then you have to do your talking on the pitch.

If he still has thoughts of heading elsewhere then he needs to be producing it for Celtic and he needs to be doing it on a consistent level.

And if you really want to attract the attention of the big leagues? Then European football is exactly where it is at. This is where you need to show what you have got.

And this season for Celtic there have been too many games where too many players have been flat and lethargic.

People will point to the transfer window and will say that more should have been done and I hear that. But at the same time you can flip that as well.

These players have been over the course at Celtic. They know what it required and they certainly know what is required when it comes to lifting the standard for European football. They should be able to go in and put in a performance and there have been too many who seem to be going through the motions.

In that respect too, I had a bit of sympathy for James Forrest over in Austria. He was caught wrong-sided and I thought he was a bit unlucky with the red card and the penalty.

He was one of the few who I thought absolutely worked his socks off getting up and down that right-hand side.

And while I thought that Celtic badly missed the physicality of Moussa Dembele last night with Leigh Griffiths and Odsonne Edouard unable to hold the ball up the same way, I still think that it is a partnership worth pursuing, at least domestically.

You need to start getting goals into the team and converting the chances that you are creating and you’ll have a better chance of doing that with those two in.

But it seems like deja-vu for Celtic again this week. Here we go with a game up at Perth against St Johnstone with all the talk being that they need to get themselves back on track again.

It is where we were less than a fortnight ago and that inconsistency is what has underpinned Celtic’s season so far.

There is actually only one way to get through it and that is to roll up the sleeves and get back to business. You need to win games and you need to get some momentum going.