The Premiership is a long, gruelling marathon, and ensuring you are in a good place when the time comes to put the head down and sprint for the line is vital if you are going to come out on top of the title race.

It would be fair to say that that Celtic have at times limped over the course this season, figuratively in terms of the team’s performances, and literally in terms of injuries to key men like Cameron Carter-Vickers.

But something felt different at Celtic Park on Wednesday night as the champions finally let loose under Brendan Rodgers. The rancour and the in-fighting were washed away in the deluge of rain and goals that fell on the heads of the visitors, and the divisions that have plagued their season at last seemed to have been bridged.

The roar that provided the backdrop to the Celtic players walking from the field at half time six goals to the good felt like a significant moment, and it was perhaps the first time this season that it felt just like the old days under Rodgers at Celtic Park.

Whether that has ultimately come too late for the champions to salvage their title defence remains to be seen, but there will no doubt be a great many Celtic supporters who will feel more optimistic about their prospects of doing so now than they did just a few days ago.

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The players, it seems, certainly have the belief that they are coming good at just the right time, with Carter-Vickers admitting he can feel the swell of momentum building at Celtic’s back.

“I don’t know if it’s players coming back from injury – maybe that’s a bit of luck – or it’s down to how we are playing,” Carter-Vickers said.

“But we know we’ve got a few games left now and we’ve got to attack them all, try to win all of them.

“It’s up to us as players to get [the fans] on our side and get them going like we did against Dundee. When we do that, we know they’ll be right behind us which, of course, helps.

“Hopefully, we’ve got that energy. We’ve 10 games left plus Scottish Cup games. Our aim is to win all the games we play. If we want to achieve what we want this season, then we have to do that. We’re fully focused on that.

“I like to think we’re a calm group. We don’t really get fazed by a lot of the noise and stuff like that.

“I think we know what we have to do and how we have to go about it. That’s what we’re trying to do.

“I thought we started really well [against Dundee], got on the front foot quickly and obviously an early goal also helps. We maintained that throughout the game.

“We didn’t do anything different, really. To be fair to the group, it’s a good group, a professional group. We try to attack every game the same.

“I think against Dundee it all fell our way and we took off. We were good in maintaining that level right the way through.”

According to Rodgers, one of the main reasons that Celtic’s football has at times looked pedestrian this term and a far cry from the teams he moulded in his first spell at the club has been the absence of key personnel.

Reo Hatate has been a huge miss, as has Carter-Vickers, as problems stemming from the knee operation he underwent at the tail end of last season have hampered his contribution.

His manager said last week that the Celtic medical team seem to have finally gotten to the bottom of the issue, and the big defender has his fingers crossed that he is now over the worst of his injury woes.

“I think so and I hope so,” he said.

“It’s been frustrating for myself being in and out with injuries. I’m hoping I can stay fit and help the team achieve things.

“I just did the rehab as well as I could. I think I got 30 minutes at the weekend plus 60 minutes against Dundee. So that helps. I’m hopefully building my way back into it.

“I’m not sure [why I keep breaking down]. It’s the same side as my hamstring, on the right side, and same side as my knee.

“It’s probably the first time in my career that I’ve had a season like this where I’ve been injured so much. But I think if you’re looking to have a long career then you’re going to have a season like that or two.

“So, you’ve just got to get on with it.”

It isn’t only the impact of players like Carter-Vickers returning from injury that is giving Celtic a stronger look over the past week or so, but the contributions of a new arrival in striker Adam Idah, and the growing influence of Yang Hyun-jun on the right wing, who finally appears to be finding his feet in a Celtic jersey.

“Adam’s only been here a short time, but he’s already scored some big goals for us,” Carter-Vickers added.

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“Hopefully that can continue for him and the team.

“And Yang, he’s been here from the beginning of the season, and you can see his quality in training.

“I think for him it’s just about putting it together in games. I think he’s starting to do that now.”