BRENDAN Rodgers’ far from upbeat demeanour in the past four weeks has led to understandable speculation he has been frustrated in his attempts to strengthen his Celtic squad.

Whether that is because he has failed to land the players he has gone after during the January transfer window – other, that is, than Marvin Compper and Lewis Morgan, who have both been brought on board – or is due to the fact he has been denied the funds he has requested from the Parkhead hierarchy is unclear.

But if it has been the latter, if major shareholder Dermot Desmond hadn’t been swayed by appeals for the purse strings to be loosened, then the Northern Irishman will have been able to present a strong argument for more money to be made available to him on Saturday evening.

Read more: Celtic set to seal loan deal for Chelsea playmaker Charly Musonda while Patrick Roberts gives Hoops a boost​

It isn’t just the injuries which Craig Gordon and Leigh Griffiths suffered during the course of the 1-0 win over Hibernian at Celtic Park which will necessitate more players being brought in during the coming days.

The flatness of the home team’s all-round performance and the narrowness of the win highlighted the need for reinforcements to arrive in the East End of Glasgow before midnight on Wednesday.

The Scottish champions, once again, were some way below their best.

They did, thanks to a well-taken Leigh Griffiths goal midway through the first-half, just enough to win the game and maintain their 11-point lead over Aberdeen at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership.

But had their opponents held them to a draw for the third time this term then they would have had no grounds for complaint. Hibs were only denied a point by their shortcomings up front. Brandon Barker forced a save from Gordon in the opening 45 minutes and John McGinn did the same with Dorus de Vries late on. But the capital club were unable to make the long periods of dominance count.

Neil Lennon will look to strengthen Hibs up front in the coming days. If he can, and securing a free-scoring forward is no mean feat for clubs in this country, then the excellence of his side’s play should be rewarded with wins with greater regularity.

The Easter Road club, as their Edinburgh rivals did to devastating effect at Tynecastle last month, pressed Celtic from kick-off and prevented them from gaining full control of proceedings at any point.

Read more: Olivier Ntcham: Moussa Dembele's focus has stayed strong - he can help Celtic cope without Leigh Griffiths​

Callum McGregor, in particular, was bitterly disappointing playing just off first Griffiths and then Moussa Dembele for Celtic. Charly Musonda, the Belgian playmaker who Rodgers has been courting since last season, arriving on loan is a very significant development indeed.

Musonda is only young, just 21, and has limited first-team experience with Chelsea and Real Betis, but his reputation is considerable. His acquisition will increase options, create competition for places in the attacking positions and should improve the quality of their play. But more like him are, with those Europa League games against Zenit St Petersburg looming next month, needed.

Celtic have lost just one domestic fixture in 77 games and are still the outstanding side in the country by some distance even when, as was the case at the weekend, they aren’t performing at their very best.

But they aren’t operating at the same high level as they were in the 2016/17 campaign and haven’t been for some time. Could a Rangers team lifted by the appointment of Graeme Murty as manager and buoyed by the arrival of five excellent signings claw back their lead? It is unlikely, but, on the evidence of Saturday, not impossible.

Remember, the Ibrox club held their city rivals to a 0-0 draw away from home last month without Jason Cummings, Greg Docherty, Sean Goss, Russell Martin and Jamie Murphy. How much better will they be?

Gordon has, despite the criticism he comes in from, been a massive player for Celtic for the last three and a half years. He ensures they win games they would otherwise draw and draw matches they should by rights lose. His extended absence will, no disrespect to De Vries, be keenly felt.

Griffiths, too, is the league leaders’ most dangerous striker even though his start on Saturday was his first in a month. Dembele, who now hasn’t netted in seven games, was again underwhelming after coming on against Hibs. Odsonne Edouard, meanwhile, has scored in just three of the 15 games he has featured in.

Rodgers has an embarrassment of riches to choose from. His second choice side could defeat most top flight teams with ease. But Celtic can’t afford to grow complacent. It is vital to their chances of ongoing success that new faces arrive.