There are more than a few footballers of precious disposition who may have thrown their toys out of the pram if a move to a big foreign league fell through at the eleventh hour, leaving them at the club who were prepared to let him leave with minimal resistance.

Jozo Simunovic is not a man of such brittle character. After looking to be on his way out of Celtic Park in the summer before a move to Italian side Torino collapsed just before the transfer window closed, the 22-year-old has knuckled down and gone on to strike up a formidable pairing with Erik Sviatchenko at the heart of the Celtic defence.

Far from being out of the picture, the Croatian is now a mainstay of the Celtic backline, and his defensive partner believes that Torino's loss has been Celtic's substantial gain. And the longer they stay together, the better Sviatchenko feels their understanding will become.

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“I hope Jozo will stay and I think he will stay so I’m not too concerned,” Sviatchenko said. “I’ve been in a lot of partnerships throughout my career and this is one of the best.

“A partnership develops over time and Jozo and myself have only been playing regularly together for around four months.

“We complement each other well. He is never flustered and takes chances in his game and nine out of 10 times it goes in his favour.

“Jozo is also good with the ball and it’s all calculated. I maybe have to be a bit more aware of the defensive part which is why a lot of the building goes through the right side.

“I’m also working on my left as well because I also want to develop my game. It’s a good combination of defensive aggression, we’re both quite brave, and also getting forward.

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“But it’s about more than just Jozo and me and I must acknowledge the team around me who do so well, especially Craig Gordon who deserves a lot of credit.

“Craig gives out that calmness. He’s always there and saves the ball. The way he manages the ball just now is at a really high level.”

Celtic are closing in on a 50-year-old record held by the Lisbon Lions after chalking up their 20th consecutive domestic game without defeat in Saturday’s win over Dundee.

Sviatchenko is hoping to take them another step closer to that landmark against Partick Thistle at Celtic Park this evening, but he insists that the chance to write their name in the record books doesn’t enter the players’ minds when they are out on the field.

“Now have made that 20 and hope to make that 21 against Partick Thistle,” he said. “We will do everything we can to keep it going.

“I wasn’t aware that the Lisbon Lions hold the record of 26 games unbeaten at the start of a season but it’s amazing - what a record.

“If we can keep this up then we will have a chance to surpass that in the New Year. The chance to break records doesn’t add an extra pressure. We don’t think about it when we’re playing the game, it’s just about winning a match.

“But we also know teams are performing better and better against us. Dundee had a really good gameplan on Saturday and it was difficult at times.

“Sometimes we can win games beautifully and sometimes it’s a bit more fight but the team is showing different characteristics and that’s good.

“We need to be aware that teams will have eleven men in their own half at times and as a team we need to penetrate with runs and passes.

“In the first half against Dundee there was really good possession play but the manager also talks about our positional play and we need to combine both.

“My job as a defender when we have so much possession is to keep my concentration for 90-plus minutes because one ball can be decisive. We are all aware of being 100 per cent focused.”

Brendan Rodgers made five changes to his starting line-up for the Dundee match at the weekend, and it is likely he will continue to mix things up for the Thistle clash this evening.

The depth of the squad that Celtic possess allows him to do so without significantly affecting the quality of his side, and Sviatchenko says that it is important they maintain that depth for as long as possible with suitors bound to be circling the likes of Simunovic and Moussa Dembele.

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“For the team and everyone it’s important we keep the momentum and to do that we need to keep as many players as possible,” he said.

“If we want to keep our good winning run going it’s important to keep players and also add some players who will strengthen the team.

“Some players were given a chance against Dundee and it was great to see Ryan Christie and Gary Mackay-Steven coming off both wings and doing well.

“They haven’t been playing much but they came in because they have been training so well and everyone knows the job.

“When the team changes the individuals still know their job within the team. It was also nice to get Scott Sinclair back and now it’s about him having game time and getting back to the level he was before.”