ERIK Sviatchenko, the Celtic defender, said last night that the Parkhead side's players are targeting going through the entire domestic season undefeated. Perhaps surprisingly, no Scottish team since the 19th century has gone through an entire top flight campaign without losing a single match but so dominant have Brendan Rodgers' side been in the Northern Irishman's opening five months in charge that such a scenario doesn't appear entirely unrealistic. While the Dane chimed with his manager's claim that they will 'probably' lose somewhere along the line, that didn't stop him from articulating the ambition ahead of tonight's Ladbrokes Premiership meeting against Partick Thistle.

"It is always nice to have a goal in some way," said Sviatchenko. "Whether it is achievable or not, it is nice to say it out loud sometimes - that it would be nice if it happened. Should we lose a game, which is obviously quite natural sometimes, then it would just be about how we bounce back and how we move on.

"But I think the Motherwell game showed that while people thought this was the game we were going to lose, down two goals, that if we kept working and kept working then we would create chances because we know that our players are good enough," he added. "It would ne nice if we got through the season unbeaten but it is a long season and there are a lot of games and probably there WILL be a game. But as a defender you always hope to be unbeaten."

Sviatchenko said that only "small margins" had prevented the club from staying in the Champions League beyond Christmas. Had they turned away draws into arguably deserved wins against Borussia Moenchengladbach and Manchester then they would have qualified for the last 16 with seven points.

"Against 'Glabach away, we could have won the game," he said. "The same against City at home and away. Maybe the decisive game was at home to Gladbach when we just didn’t click. Sometimes you have those games. We will take all those things and learn from them. This is a team that has been together for six months and you are wrong if you think you are done after that length of time. Imagine where we can be eight months from now?"