Such was the news that came out of Lennoxtown yesterday afternoon that tonight’s definitive Europa League game felt like little more than a footnote.

With Brendan Rodgers’ pre-match press conference dominated by news of Leigh Griffiths’ departure from the squad, chat around tonight’s make-or-break game against the Austrians took an inevitable backseat.

For Rodgers, though, there is an inevitability that the show must go on.

A sell-out crowd will be in attendance as Celtic look to engineer a point from the meeting that would enable them to progress into the latter stages of the tournament.

Doing so would be quite the accomplishment. It is not just that Salzburg are on a mission to make a little bit of Europa League history by claiming six wins in the group but also that Celtic in all European campaigns, Champions and Europa League, have never knocked out a team from any of the top five elite leagues.

Going into the knockout stage at the expense of Bundesliga side Leipzig would do just that although for Rodgers it is more about the here and now than it is about the bigger picture.

“I think when you look at it and all the sides to it - which I tend not to - I look at it as enriching our football experiences and getting into the next stage,” said Rodgers. “It has never been done because it is so difficult to do.

“You look at the power of Leipzig and where they sit in their league, and look at Salzburg with the power that whole Red Bull organisation have, we’ve put ourselves in a really good position.

“You only want it to be in your hands, it is in our hands and we want to grab that.”

And however this evening unfolds, Celtic will not be heading into the game on the hunt for just one point.

“We know it’s a tough test for us,” said Rodgers. “But with everything and knowing we need a result it’s not workable to play for a draw.

“It has the feel of a big game, a game that we are really, really looking forward to. And rightly so because of our form, and not just how we have been playing in the last 2-3 months. In European competition, we have got better and better as the competitions have gone on. We maybe start off a bit slow, but we have always got better.

“We know it’s tough test for us but we know we need a result. It’s not workable to play for a draw.

“That doesn’t happen in football. You go out to win and see how the game evolves and take it from there. “People say play for a draw, that’s unworkable. The mentality for us is we go to win and see where we go from there. And that’s how we play a game. We play a game to not concede a goal, be aggressive and this is a similar idea.

“There comes a point in a game, five or 10 minutes to go, it’s slightly different.

“It should be an incredible atmosphere, the wall of noise that comes from the stadium. The Salzburg guys, some of them won’t have experienced it before and for us it’s a great energy for our team and how we play. So we look to get the job done.”

If Celtic require any encouragement on that front it will be drawn from their own home form.

The Parkhead side are unbeaten at home this season in both European and domestic fronts and the form of Rodgers’ side since October has been impressive after a hiccuping start to the campaign.

Last term Celtic lost all three home games in their Champions League group, including to Anderlecht in Glasgow. This season’s Europa League form has been in welcoming contrast. onne Edouard

“They come into it having won five games, they have a great record, but our focus is just to continue with our game and how we have been playing, knowing they are a good side, and show our true face,” said Rodgers.

“We didn’t do that in Salzburg, but the Leipzig game at home we showed our true selves and this is an opportunity for them.”

It remains to be seen how Salzburg approach the game given that their passage is assured into the next phase.

Rodgers, though, has maintained that he is more concerned with his own display than with the visiting team.

“They could relax themselves a wee bit,” he said. “Salzburg could think that way as well, so they could actually play with more freedom knowing that they are qualified.

“I can’t control that. What I can control is how we play. And we arrive in to the game with confidence and belief and we have to keep rolling that out, and hopefully get the job done, which would be a fantastic achievement for us, given the level of team in the group.”

The liklihood is that Leigh Griffiths will not be forgotten about by the Hoops support tomorrow night, but Rodgers is keen that his squad focus on the job at hand.

“Our focus, and that of the supporters, is on the football,” he said.