AS the co-designer of a rather elegant Lisbon Lion-themed, limited edition Harris Tweed jacket this year, Erik Sviatchenko is well placed to offer sartorial advice to his Celtic team-mates should they choose to seek it out.

The Danish defender is certainly in no doubt about which one of his fellow Celtic players is in most need of a little help with their wardrobe. “Leigh Griffiths,” he replied without hesitation after being put on the spot by reporters last week.

The 25-year-old, though, is receptive to the opinions of others, when it comes to football especially, himself.

Dedryck Boyata and Jozo Simunovic firmly established themselves as the first choice centre-half partnership at the Parkhead club last season after regaining full fitness and were outstanding as Brendan Rodgers’s side went undefeated domestically and won the treble.

Yet, rather than take umbrage at his lack of game time and pursue one of the other options available to him – English champions Leicester City were one of clubs rumoured to be monitoring his situation – Sviatchenko has acted on his manager’s observations.

Falling out of fashion at Celtic may not have been a pleasant experience, especially during such a remarkable campaign, but he is confident he can come back into style.

“You always accept the manager’s decision and his opinions as to who he wants to play,” he said from the Scottish champions’ training base in Berghausl deep in the Austrian countryside.

“Competition makes you even more alert. I perhaps needed to be even better at things. I have spoken with the manager about what I need to do to improve and that is what I am trying to do now.”

Sviatchenko’s progress as a player since he arrived from Midtjylland in his homeland in a £1.5 million transfer in January 2016 gives him confidence he can feature more regularly at the back for Celtic in the coming months.

Rodgers’ insistence that his back line, including his goalkeeper Craig Gordon, initiate attacks, instead of just breaking down opposition moves upfield, has taken time to adjust to, but Sviatchenko has seen tangible improvements.

“From where I was before to where I am now is miles apart,” he said. “I am much more confident with the ball now, which I have always wanted to be. My job description has changed from being a distributor to a creator. I have to see the passes forward, not just sideways. I have been working very hard on that and I am seeing the benefits.

“That is one of the things he [Rodgers] wants. I have seen my stats from before the manager was here and maybe 74 percent of my passes forward were successful. Now I have maybe 95 percent. I have the ball a lot during a game so that is a lot.”

Sviatchenko admitted he was conscious of the interest in him last season. But using Celtic to win a move to an English club, as many others have done in the past, is not his intention. Getting better as a player and securing a regular start again are his objectives. He remains content at the club despite not playing as often as he would like.

“I was aware of things,” he said. “But it didn’t take the focus away from what I was doing, playing football. I am in a place where I have good players and coaches around me. They know me and I am trying to be the best player I can be so I am enjoying the time here.”

The Scandinavian certainly had fun helping to design a jacket to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Celtic’s historic European Cup triumph along with his father, the Ukranian-born contemporary artist Sergei.

“It was a homage to the Lisbon Lions,” he said. “We had this opportunity with Close Up and Private [the fashion blog he produces with his father] to make a collaboration with Harris Tweed. Brian Wilson, who is on the Celtic board, is a director of the company.

“We then put a unique piece, my father’s collage, into the lining of the jacket which my father and I designed. The collage shows the Lisbon Lions. John Clark [who played in the 1967 triumph over Inter Milan] helped us with the photoshoot. He said you are actually wrapping history around your back.”

Sviatchenko would still rather help to make history with Celtic on the park. He married his long-term partner, the Danish women’s football internationalist Anne Rudmose, during the summer. The newlyweds went to Barcelona on their honeymoon. He is hoping to visit more European capitals this season, playing in the group stages of the Champions League.