Youssouff Mulumbu, the Celtic midfielder, has revealed he is “embarrassed” not to have yet won a game since joining Brendan Rodgers’ side on the final day of the transfer window. And the Congolese internationalist believes that his blushes could have been spared had Celtic not shown Salzburg too much respect in Austria on Thursday night.

The Parkhead side’s second-half collapse meant they exited their second Europa League game on the back of a sobering 3-1 defeat but Mulumbu is optimistic that Celtic are capable of atoning for that when they host Salzburg in Glasgow. The game against the Austrians is the final game of Group B and could well be decisive in terms of whether Celtic qualify for the knockout stages after Christmas.

“We’re a better team than we showed,” said the 31-year-old, whose first-half performance was one of the few positive elements of the night. “We played out from the back a few times and got through our opponent, but with all the views we heard of Salzburg I feel we respected them too much.

“The gaffer was like you have to play and if you make a mistake I won’t be mad or against you as you tried to make a good decision. But when you are on the pitch it can be a different scenario. You don’t want to lose and it becomes a bad situation. When you score after five minutes and you have some chances to score the second we shouldn’t have dropped like that.

“The score definitely flattered them. Don’t get me wrong, they are a good team but we didn’t need to lose 3-1. If we were more brave on the ball we could have hurt them. I’m 100% sure of that.

“I think we will [beat them in Glasgow]. I don’t think they will come with the confidence because they know what Celtic is about. If we just get it right and get some breaks and once we come back from the international break we can focus on Leipzig.”

The result means that in terms of Europa League progression, Celtic’s games against Red Bull Leipzig will effectively determine just whether or not going through to the knockout stages becomes a viable option. And Mulumbu was keen to frame the defeat and the manner of it in isolated terms.

“The gaffer made a speech after the game,” said Mulumbu. “Obviously the dressing room was quiet because no one wants to lose. But we know exactly what we did wrong. As I said, we respected them too much. We need to win every game to definitely go through. Leipzig is going to be a good test but I’m fully confident.”

If Mulumbu’s display on Thursday night offered an indication of what he might bring to the Celtic midfield, it isn’t something that has been particularly evident since his arrival at the club; the player’s lack of a pre-season has meant that he has been playing catch-up in terms of fitness with the match against Salzburg only his second game for the club.

The first was a forgettable afternoon against his former club at Rugby Park – “I spoke with (Aaron) Tshibola after the game and he apologised to me because he knew obviously what he was doing” said Mulumbu in reference to his spat with Tshibola in Kilmarnock’s 2-1 win over Rodgers’ side last month – but with Scott Brown injured there is a feeling that Mulumbu will be given another starting jersey for Sunday’s game in Perth.

“I’ve been frustrated because I haven’t won yet with Celtic – which is a bit embarrassing – but I’m just enjoying playing with the lads and once the gaffer needs me I have to be ready,” said Mulumbu.

“My situation is quite different from others because I came late, so when the gaffer wants to replace some players I just need to be ready. The club is amazing. The only thing that’s missing is winning because they’re used to winning all the time – until I signed!

“Celtic are used to winning all the time and then once I signed I haven’t won a game.

“I don’t want to be a bad sign or bring the team bad luck.

“They haven’t made that comparison yet. I’m just frustrated. I’m trying to do my best and hoping it comes soon. But there are no worries in the dressing room, no crisis or stuff like that. We know what the trouble is and we know what we’re going to do. The quality of the players in the dressing room – no-one else has it in Scotland. We just need to fix those small details.”

And the midfielder remains confident that when the season comes to a close that he will have silverware to show from his time with the Parkhead side.

“Of course,” he smiled. “If not, I’ll be in trouble! Seriously, for sure. We have to win and we will. The only team that can beat us is ourselves.

“There is no worry at all about the league table because once we play Hearts and Hibs, once we beat them, we are going to be on the top. Because we are Celtic, and the quality we have in that dressing room. There is no chance that we aren’t going to win anything this season.”

Still, there has been a palpable malaise within Celtic this term. It has been highlighted perhaps because of the energy and aggression which were the hallmark of the team as they flexed their muscles domestically over the last two seasons.

“We sense that and it is a direct comparison to how the team has done in the last two seasons,” acknowledged Mulumbu.

“If we don’t have those seasons before and we win the league then everybody will be happy.

“The most important thing is the final result and if we win the league we will be happy regardless if it is flat or not.

“We just need to win the league and that starts this Sunday by winning against St Johnstone.

“Let’s say we expect Celtic to win every single game. Of course, we respect St Johnstone but we should be on top of the table, so we definitely have to win that game. It’s not going to be easy but we played them in the Betfred Cup and we know how they play, so I’m confident.

“We just need to be back winning and it starts on Sunday.”