THERE have been no passengers in Brendan Rodgers’ team this season, but the Celtic boss has undoubtedly been quite content to be along for the ride. On and off the pitch.

The trip to Inverness on Wednesday gives Rodgers a chance to appreciate the view on the road north, and while the scenery is compelling, so too are Celtic. A remarkable run of 21 Ladbrokes Premiership victories has Rodgers’ side moving towards record-book territory, yet he is unperturbed by the prospect.

Rodgers knows defeat is not just a possibility for Celtic, but an inevitability. So, he is enjoying the moment. The last time Rodgers was at Caledonian Stadium, Celtic dropped their only league points by conceding a late equaliser to Inverness Caley Thistle.

That 2-2 draw came on September 18, on the back of Celtic’s tiring 7-0 defeat to Barcelona in the Nou Camp. Had Celtic not momentarily dipped then, they would have already matched the 25 successive league wins by Martin O’Neill’s side in 2003-04, a British record.

“What the players have done has been remarkable, in relation to consistency and concentration,” reflected Rodgers. “Even the best teams can just drop off in any game and something go against them but most of these players have shown a remarkable level of consistency and hunger on a day-to-day basis.

“We will lose a game, for sure. What we have to do is just resist as much as we possibly can. Perform how we want to and if we do that then we can’t do any more.

“As for records, I know it is boring and not what you want to hear but I tend to look at the next game. It is five games away and football is so difficult to forecast. Telling the players would absolutely be contradictory, it would add pressure.

“The response [to the draw with Caley] has been brilliant. At that time Inverness were in a good moment and we were on the back of a 7-0 defeat. We played very bad in the first half and in the second half we were brilliant. How we didn’t win is beyond me, but we had an incredible reaction and now we’re in February having won 31 out of 32 domestic matches.”

Other Celtic managers such as O’Neill and Neil Lennon have found out the hard way that all the Highland scenery masks a tricky environment. “It’s one of those tough places to go with the wind coming off the sea,” says Rodgers.

“I worked with Jonny Hayes and when he went there, I thought ‘bloody hell Jon, that’s a long way up.’ I took Don Cowie to Watford from Inverness. It’s a long way up but they produce good footballers and it’s a good club.

“We’ve flown up when we played Ross County at Dingwall but this is fine because we don’t have our next game until a Sunday. I actually enjoy the bus journey because this way I’ve been able to see a lot of Scotland that I’ve not seen before.

“I enjoyed the previous trip there and we’ll get the bus up and play the game but we don’t play until next Sunday in the Scottish Cup against St Mirren, so it’s not bad about coming back down the road.”

While Manchester City’s 5-3 defeat of Monaco in the first leg of a last-16 tie in the Champions League was capturing the

imagination of viewers in Europe on Tuesday, Rodgers was looking on with pride. Celtic are the only team who Pep Guardiola’s side have failed to beat in the Champions League this season after 3-3 draws at Celtic Park and 1-1 at the Etihad Stadium in the group phase.

“I watched the game,” said Rodgers. “I think we showed in that tournament that we grew as we went on, in every aspect.

Tactically, we got better mentally. The first game with City, 3-3, was a brilliant game, a proper game of football and we showed the level we can go to in the future.

“In the game in Manchester we showed a real level of confidence to get a 1-1 draw. City are an outstanding team. So are Monaco, as they showed. At that level there are no easy games, not even if you change teams like Man City did in the last game with us because you have players against you who are fighting to win.

“We played two really good games with City and that bodes well for confidence.”

Is the last 16 a yardstick of where Rodgers wants Celtic to be?

“It’s always good to keep an eye on that level because if you are in it, you know what it is,” he replied.

“Watching the games the other night you can see this is where we would be if we got out the

group stage.

“It’s the highest level of technical quality, mentality and speed. Yes, that’s the level we will hopefully get to.”