Mikael Lustig might find himself cursing as he delivers Celtic's pre-match huddle speech but the full-back expects that his side will do their real talking on the park.

The Swede is in line for the armband on Sunday afternoon for the Betfred League Cup semi-final meeting with Hearts in the absence of Scott Brown. And despite the added responsibility of giving the motivational huddle talk, Lustig is fairly relaxed about stepping into the role. “I try to have my own message because everyone is different," he said. "I don’t try to be someone else, just me, whether I have the armband or not.

“But it’s always an honour to captain this team and I’ll think before the game about what to say in the huddle. But it’s not like I’m standing there for a minute or so. You just need small words, usually you don’t need to say that much because everyone knows it’s a really important game and we need to be up for it.

“I use Scottish words, of course. Sweary words....well that’s Scottish, right?”

While Lustig believes prevailing against league leaders Hearts will be a difficult ask, he has also pointed to Celtic's recent domestic results as evidence that Brendan Rodgers' side are getting back to the kind of form they displayed in recent seasons. In a stuttering start to the campaign Celtic were beaten at Tynecastle by Craig Levein's side but Lustig anticipates an entirely different performance tomorrow.

"They have had a really good start and we know Hearts is always going to be a difficult team to beat," he said.

“The way they play, you know it’s quite simple football but it’s worked really well for them.

“They have got some decent players as well, so it’s going to be a tough game.

“Of course the start of this season maybe wasn’t the best but I think in the last couple of months we have felt we are close to getting back to where we want to be or where we should be."

Celtic go into the game against Hearts with a lengthy injury list with a number of key players out of action. Cristian Gamboa and Jozo Simunovic are the latest to join those in the treatment room but Lustig has insisted that Celtic cannot use that as an excuse as they prepare for tomorrow's game. “Of course it’s not easy when there are many changes but we have a squad and need to cope with injuries and suspensions as they come and go throughout the season," he said.

“At the moment there’s maybe a bit too much of that, but as a club at the start of the season you make sure that you have players who can come in if another one gets a suspension. So it’s no excuse."

The Swede has also maintained that despite another bruising European experience that the confidence in Rodgers' squad has not been punctured.

“Salzburg is a really good side and the first half was alright but the second half wasn’t good enough," he said.

“On Thursday night after a really good start we had 15-20 minutes in the first half when we didn’t play good football and agaisnt a good side like Leipzig that’s going to cost us. But the confidence is still there."