When James Forrest accepted the plaudits of every outfield Celtic player on the pitch on Sunday afternoon, it seemed to be more that just a pat on the back.

In the aftermath of a month in which the unity within the dressing room at the club has been under the microscope it was difficult to escape the feeling that there was a point being made as the high fives were handed out to the Celtic winger.

Celtic captain Scott Brown had to wait to offer his own congratulations to Forrest for his four-goal contribution to the 6-0 dismantling of St Johnstone but the midfielder was unequivocal that there is no lingering ill-effects from a summer of discontent within Lennoxtown.

Kilmarnock striker Kris Boyd incurred the wrath of the Parkhead support with a broadcast interview in which he re-iterated his own information that there were different factions at work at Celtic but for Brown, the echo chamber that can be Scottish football has barely resonated with Brendan Rodgers’ squad.

“I don’t read it so it doesn’t bother me,” said Brown. “I was told about it. People can have their own opinion and I think people can say what they want but they don’t know what happens daily in the dressing-room.

“We play with a smile on our faces as we have done under this manager and we’ll continue to do it.

“There are a load of pundits who just want to say something but that’s just people keeping themselves in a job.

“We stick together and we have a great bunch of lads. We do our talking on the field.”

Not that it has been all roses in the Celtic garden of late.

A Champions League exit to an average AEK Athens side compounded the sense of frustration around the club following the lack of new signings over the summer window. The manager’s demeanour and quotes left no room for ambiguity while the downing of tools of defender Dedryck Boyata increased the sense of Celtic coming adrift.

Since then, however, Boyata has been fairly consistent at the heart of Celtic’s defence since his return to the team. Cynics may point to a shop window element to the Belgian internationalist’s performances given that he is free to speak to other clubs in January but for Brown the here and now was about bringing stability to the team.

“Dedo stayed and he has shown what a quality player he can be,” he said. “That’s why he did so well at the World Cup. “We’ve all been fine. Myself and the boss spoke when there was talk of Dedo trying to get out and it was all fine.

“It got patched up and we got on with our daily jobs. People want to make a big issue and it happened when perhaps we didn’t get the right results but we wanted to get to the Champions League and people came at us.

“We’re in the Europa League and we’ve picked up in the league and we will kick on.

“My role has never changed and there’s no need to bring everyone together.

“There’s no big issue there. We’ve all been fine.

“There have been a lot of people trying to put us down but we have a great dressing room and we have a great manager and board and we’re all together no matter what happens.

“The results aren’t always going to go your own way. We’ve had two great seasons and sometimes you will have ups and downs.

“We’ll be flying out the blocks again and I think the last performance shows how committed we all are.”

The win over St Johnstone was the first time that Celtic have produced a display in keeping with the philosophy set down in Rodgers’ inaugural season at the club.

And Brown believes it can be the catalyst now for a run of consistent form.

“I think that performance was outstanding,” he said. “I went to the game and enjoyed it and I liked the way we moved the ball.

“What we have been working on is coming together slowly with everyone working together.

“It was exceptional.”

Celtic are in the unusual position of looking up in terms of down regarding their current league position. That reflects the difficulties they have in finding their groove in the opening weeks of the campaign bit regardless of talk about a genuine league title race, Brown is intent on keeping the long game in sight.

“There’s always been one [a title race.] Aberdeen has pushed us all the way and it’s only in the last month of the season we moved away. Our squad is so strong and that helps us over the course of a season.

“I was driving up to Perth and I wasn’t even aware that Rangers were ahead before we started.

“It’s something that years and years ago when they were challenging then you would try and figure things out when one team had an early kick off the same day.

“But for us it’s about concentrating on our own game, getting three points and continuing that for as long as you can.”