MANAGERS will often say that there is little to be taken from friendly games other than the improvement of fitness and match sharpness. But if there is one thing to be deduced from Celtic’s four warm-up encounters to date this summer, it’s that it is unlikely to be a dull season once again under Ange Postecoglou.

There were just the four goals this time as they played out a 2-2 draw with English Championship side Blackburn Rovers, first-half strikes from Jota and David Turnbull turning round an early deficit after Sam Gallagher had scored for the visitors in the opening couple of minutes.

Ben Brereton-Diaz scored the leveller with 15 minutes left from a free-kick after some slack play from Yosuke Ideguchi, a slightly worrying common theme of Celtic’s games to date.

Yes, it’s pre-season of course, but Celtic have conceded seven goals in their last three friendlies, and almost all of the goals came from sloppiness on their part. Take the opener here, for instance.

A pass from Matt O’Riley was rapped into the feet of Callum McGregor, but unusually, his touch was off, allowing the ball to slip away and into the path of Lewis Travis who in turn fed it to Jack Vale.

The ball was threaded through to Gallagher who took his time and despatched the ball low past Joe Hart.

The caveat of course, and the major positive, as that going forward they look as dangerous as ever, and have scored nine goals over those three games, as well as seven without reply against lowly Wiener Viktoria.

Here, they shook off their early sluggishness and would soon level as the ball was cleared to Jota on the edge of the area from a corner, the winger steering a half-volley in off the keeper’s left-hand post.

From there, Celtic started to look a little more like themselves, and they were almost in as O’Riley burst through the Blackburn backline only to be cynically hauled down on the edge of the area. It mattered not, as Turnbull duly struck the free-kick under the wall and past Thomas Kaminski with the aid of a deflection to put Celtic ahead.

The match was a little bit feisty, with referee Kevin Clancy forced to book both Travis and Harry Pickering from the visiting ranks for poor challenges on Jota and Liel Abada respectively.

Postecoglou made five changes at the break, Ben Siegrist and Alexandro Bernabei making their home debuts in the hoops, with Anthony Ralston, Daizen Maeda and James Forrest also entering the action.

Siegrist made a decent low save from Brereton-Diaz, and Bernabei wanted in on the act too, latching onto a lovely ball from Turnbull and bringing a decent save from Kaminski. 

Celtic were turning it on now, and Jota produced a sublime bit of skill as he scooped the ball over Hayden Carter’s head to bamboozle the right-back and bring the crowd to their feet.

They still looked vulnerable to the counter-attack though, and Siegrist had to look smart again to block from Gallagher twice in quick succession, the second time after a mix-up between Carter-Vickers and Welsh.

Bosun Lawal, Chris Jullien, James McCarthy and Rocco Vata were all brought on, and predictably, some fluency was lost from their play. 

Ideguchi then played a blind pass inside the field and Blackburn were in, only for Jullien to clatter Brereton-Diaz as he looked to burst clear. Just as in the first half, the concession only delayed the inevitable, Brereton-Diaz firing home into the bottom corner.

There was another moment of concern for Celtic soon after as Ralston limped off to be replaced by Osaze Urhoghide, but manager Postecoglou may have a wider concern about eradicating some slackness from his side's play over the next two games before the real stuff starts once more.