While the rest of us worry about money, job security and Brexit, being the Celtic manager right now is a pretty cushy gig, even if there is the odd bump or two along an otherwise smooth road.

Asked how this last year has been, Brendan Rodgers spoke of the disappointment of not making the signings he wanted in the summer and failure to qualify for the Champions League group stage as his darkest moments.

As disasters go, his annus was far more mirabilis than horribilis.

For those who judge everything in black and white, which so many football supporters chose to do, Rodgers’ Celtic have lost more games and key players than at any other time during his reign.

But another way to look at it is that Celtic in 2018 won three trophies, secured a historic second treble, clinched the league against Rangers at Parkhead, have European football to look forward to in February and have every chance of finishing the year top of a far more competitive Premiership.

“It’s been another memorable year,” admitted the Celtic manager. “How the players have developed is always a key measure for me. I ask ‘have the players improved?’, and that makes me and the staff very happy. To have won another title and another treble was really, really special. There have been disappointments as well in terms of not qualifying for the Champions League, but over the course it’s been another really special year for us.

“Coming in here in 2016 and now finishing off 2018, everything that’s happened I could only have dreamed of. But we’re very hungry for success.

“The success that’s happened before has been great, but there’s a world of difference between being successful and being hungry for success. That’s something we’re all very keen to continue.”

There have been tricky moments this season. It was always going to happen. Less clear was how a group of players who had known only success would cope with losing games at home and failing to reach where they wanted to be in Europe.

“That’s what makes you grow,” insisted Rodgers. “Those moments where it’s difficult. It was also about learning for me, because we had a situation in the summer that was difficult. It was obviously very testing, but you have to continue to work through that and it’s in those adverse moments that you grow.

“The players then came back on to a really, really good level, we were able to strip it back and give real clarity and purpose to how we play and from that we recreated the dynamic.

“The players have since continued with that. Of course there are going to be little blips along the way but to come through that period was really good. That’s what you have to be able to do.”

Celtic will spend Boxing Day at Pittodrie and then it is Ibrox on Saturday, a game which is shaping up to be the biggest these two old rivals have had in quite some time.

Rodgers’ record away to Rangers is played four, won four, scored 12, conceded four. Celtic have never won five games in a row at Ibrox.

Asked why that ground more than any other has brought the best from his players, Rodgers said: “I don’t think it is only there. We relish the big games and the players have shown also that they can perform in them. And things don’t always go our way in them.

“Last year we were behind in the game twice and had a man sent off. It hasn’t been all plain sailing but the excellent resilience that they have shown and the quality has been absolutely brilliant. It is a great stadium to go to. There is intensity and there is passion there which is what you want to be involved in.

“As long as you keep control and cope with that intensity then you can play well.”

If Celtic can do that and make it five in a row on the other side of Glasgow, you would get short odds on 2019 being pretty decent as well.