SINCE they shipped four goals at home to Cluj to put an end to their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, Celtic have conceded the same number of goals in the seven games that followed.

It is perhaps no coincidence that Fraser Forster played in the last four of those, conceding just twice in games against Hearts, Rangers, Hamilton and on Thursday night against Stade Rennais, when it took a penalty to get past him.

Despite the disappointment felt by Kristoffer Ajer as he needlessly gave away that spot-kick on the night in the Roazhon Park Stadium, Forster believes a major factor in the tightening up of Celtic’s backline has been the burgeoning relationship that is being formed between the central triumvirate of himself, Ajer and Christopher Jullien.

Certainly, the hulking trio would prove an intimidating sight for most strikers, and when asked if that has been the foundation for Celtic’s improving defensive record, Forster said: “I think so, it’s the spine of the team. Everyone builds those relationships with the players around them. All over the park it is important to build upon those relationships.”

“I think [Ajer and Jullien] have been brilliant. It’s one of them, the more games they play together the more that partnership will build and build.

“I think they’ve done really well, they’re good on the ball, they get on the ball and play from the back which is good.”

Forster is also sure that Ajer will quickly put his error to concede the penalty behind him.

“The penalty is a penalty and that can happen to anyone, but no, I’ve been very impressed by the two of them,” he said.

“They are two very good players and I imagine they will get better and better.

“We’re three big lads, and the more we play together as a back four or back five, the more we’ll get used to playing together and form that partnership.”

Forster’s teammate Jullien was disappointed not to take all three points from the visit back to his homeland, but Forster was a little more upbeat about the outcome.

“After you go one-nil down, to come back and get a point away from home is always a good result I think,” he said.

“So, I’d probably be a bit more positive, it’s a good point to get us started.

“On another night we could have created a bit more up front and worked them a bit more, but looking at the overall game I’d probably take a point to get the ball rolling.”