THE frustration felt by everyone at Celtic after the surprise loss to St Mirren at the weekend would have centred around the paucity of attacking creativity and lack of defensive solidity in their performance, and the three points they never looked like taking slipping from their grasp.

The fact that the defeat meant they fell short of going an entire calendar year unbeaten in the Premiership and stopped that impressive run at 38 matches may have compounded their irritation further.

Joe Hart though is keen to stress that the end of that long sequence without defeat – while desperately disappointing – is significant only in statistical terms rather than a portent of anything deeper or more troubling for this Celtic team, who he says won’t swerve off their course just because they have hit a little bump in the road.

Taking the match in isolation, the Celtic team were barely recognisable, right down to their grey change strip which seemed to reflect the drab nature of their performance, as well as making it difficult to distinguish their players from those of St Mirren.

What distinctly marked out the home players though was a commitment to the gameplan of their manager, a quality that the Celtic squad have prided themselves on to this point. But the aggressive, attacking football that has been their hallmark was nowhere to be seen, as their dominance of possession counted for little, given how powderpuff they were in the final third.

Getting back to being the Celtic team that Postecoglou demands them to be, and that they aspire to be, will be the immediate aim once the international break is out of the way.

“Look, we are proud of what we are doing,” Hart said. “We are certainly proud of it.

“But we’d have loved to be going into a 365th day with it [record] still going, but we are not. But we start again when we come back from the international break.

“Nothing has come to an end. We win, we lose, we keep going and we keep pushing and it’s now onto the next.

“Our mindset doesn’t change. We are building something where we want to just keep going and just keep trying to get the best out of each other and get the best as a team.

“That was no different in the game against St Mirren and it’ll be no different when we go into our next game.

“Look we’ve got a guy in charge of us who that is the only thing that he is going to allow. He’s got senior players, like myself. It’s the only way you can look at it.

“You have got to be cool and calm in both the good and the bad and be ready to go again because, if you are not ready to go again, someone else will be.

“We’re not emotional. You don’t see him getting too carried away when we have won however many on the spin. 

“It was a tough result for the team on Sunday, tough to take, but we all represent each other and we are ready to push and go again.

“You always want more. It’s just not always quite that easy. It’s not set up for everything to be easy for us.

“We have shown that we are prepared to roll our sleeves up. It wasn’t meant to be against St Mirren, but we go again.”

Humility and hard work, according to Hart, have been the bedrock of the success this Celtic squad have enjoyed over the past 15 months or so, and those qualities will be at the centre of their response to the setback at St Mirren.

“It’s the only attitude that you can take,” he said. “Who are you to think you are anything for winning a game of football? You’re not. 

“You are here to a do a job, we are here to represent an amazing fan base, the club. And the least we can do is put in effort.

“And whether we do win, lose or draw, we do put that effort into it. It just was not be against St Mirren.

“It wasn’t startling [afterwards] because there was no surprise. It wasn’t like in the game we were knocking on the door. 

“It was a tough, tough game for us to get into and, as I said, St Mirren did well.”

The break for international matches is often said to have come at a bad time when a side suffers a defeat just prior to it, as Celtic have. A prolonged period of stewing on both the result and the performance is now underway before the release of a home game against Motherwell on October 1st.

“It’s part of life and top-level football,” Hart said. “You are with international players, good luck to them.

“Hope they stay safe, we get them back and then we go again.”