GIVEN the average lifespan of a football manager remaining at the same club is roughly similar to that of a diabetic hamster, it stands to some reason Oran Kearney should quit while he is ahead.

The Irishman has been in Scotland for less than two weeks and yet, in his first game as manager of St Mirren, his men showed the rest of the Ladbrokes Premiership exactly how to play against Celtic. They thoroughly deserved this point.

St Mirren got in the faces of their far superior opponents, closed down space with seemingly limitless energy and it was all done with a lack of respect, in the best sense, when too many are guilty of looking pleased just to be on the same field as the champions.

Hibernian, Kilmarnock and, of course, Hearts have taken points off Brendan Rodgers’ team over the past two and a bit seasons by using these tactics which are easy to write down but far from simple to carry out.

For long spells in Paisley it was the promoted team, on their third manager within the space of a few months, who were the strongest. They outplayed and outmuscled a subdued Celtic for 45 minutes.

Filip Benkovic, on loan from Leicester City, made his debut for Celtic and former West Ham United and Sunderland defender Anton Ferdinand, now 33, was named in the St Mirren team no more than two hours before the club announced his signing.

One of them cruised it. Any guesses which one?

Celtic’s problems are, of course, relative, but what must be said is that when the go-to players such as Kieran Tierney and Callum McGregor have quiet nights, it’s up to others to step up. That has happened this season. At least so far.

The game was a minute old when St Mirren’s Ryan Edwards began what would be an uncomfortable night for Celtic when he sent Tierney flying on the touchline with an ugly barge. He was duly booked, rightly, and yet seemed surprised.

Within minutes, St Mirren’s attempt to get into the Celtic box was prevented by Olivier Ntcham’s handball. A free-kick was awarded 20 yards and centre from goal, Cammy Smith struck the ball well but Craig Gordon was equal to the task.

The home side should have taken the lead after 14 minutes. Ryan Flynn’s trickery on the left resulted in him crossing into a dangerous area. Danny Mullen managed to get himself into unmarked space ten yards in front of Gordon’s goal but put his header over as the Celtic players tried to work out who hadn’t done their job properly.

Celtic’s response was fairly meek. James Forrest, still smarting from his snub while with Scotland, took on and beat players but his team-mates were strangely subdued and St Mirren found it easy enough to clear their lines.

The lively Smith came close to a St Mirren goal on 20 minutes. His shot was pushed behind at the post by Gordon, as the Paisley mean continued to attack without a care in the world and with a confidence which was missing under Alan Stubbs.

Lee Hodson then showed good composure to wait for the ball to bounce right for him before taking on a shot from 20 yards which needed a deflection to stay out of the Celtic goal.

Celtic’s only chance of the first half came on 34 minutes. A McGregor corner was met by Dedryck Boyata who must have thought his header had given his team an undeserved lead only for Flynn to get his head to the ball right on the line.

Ntcham spent the first 36 minutes asking for trouble. Referee Andrew Dallas let him off with the early deliberate handball before booking him for a foul on Edwards. The Frenchman was on thin nice and could have walked before he did.

With a petulance which would have embarrassed a 12-year-old, he went in late as St Mirren captain Stephen McGinn cleared up the field on the touchline and deep inside his own half.

The Frenchman didn’t fancy it. That much was clear. He was continually disposed, couldn‘t get time on the ball and this moment of idiocy topped what was a poor night for such a fine talent.

Celtic under Rodgers have got themselves out of stickier situations. They played better with ten men, which wasn’t saying much, with Scott Brown superb after the break as he made tackles, blocks and read the game as only he can.

Benkovic made way for Leigh Griffiths, whose new four-year deal still had wet ink on it, before the hour and St Mirren by this stage were happy enough to sit a bit deeper rather than chasing down every ball.

It made for a less entertaining half of football.

Celtic might have pinched it with seven minutes to go when McGregor skipped through the middle of St Mirren’s defence but his shot while under pressure was weak and Craig Samson had a simple save in the end. As was the case for the big keeper when Forrest attempted a chip.

Celtic finished stronger. Boyata, who had a good night, went close with a header, but that would have been cruel on a team and club who had not found their return to the top tier straightforward.

Rodgers has some thinking to do. His fellow countryman Kearney has something to work with.