St Johnstone midfielder Liam Craig has stressed they will meet their remaining Celtic challenges “head on.”
Saints lost rather meekly to the Hoops in Glasgow on Wednesday night, with two goals in quick succession from Callum McGregor and Ryan Christie doing the damage.
That rearranged match was the first of a league double-header against the champions, who visit McDiarmid Park on Sunday.
The teams also clash back at Parkhead in the William Hill Scottish Cup on February 10 so the players will certainly be well acquainted by the end of it all.
Craig hopes the Perth men can up their game in the wake of a midweek performance that saw them fail to trouble the home defence as they were defeated 2-0.
He said: “In the first half, defensively I thought the shape was good.
“Celtic had one header which Zander Clark made a good save from but, on the ball, we have to be a lot better and a lot braver.
“Whenever we have gone to Celtic Park in the past and got results, we have used the ball well but we didn’t do it well enough on Wednesday night.
“We went there with Mikey (O’Halloran) up top and Swanny (Danny Swanson) supporting him. We wanted to get them on the ball but we didn’t pass it well enough.
“When we did, it was far too deep. We want to be up the park causing problems for Celtic.
“We huffed and puffed and weren’t a threat going forward so we need to dust ourselves down and be better on Sunday if we are to get anything.”
Craig insisted Saints won’t get worn down by the challenge of facing a team of Celtic’s calibre three times in such a short period of time.
“It is these games that you have to look forward to,” he said.
“If you want to be successful and play at the top end of the Premiership and latter stages of the cup competitions, you are going to have to play against the best.
“Celtic are that and if you are not excited to go to Parkhead, face them at home on Sunday or be involved in the cup in February, you shouldn’t be here.
“We are going to meet it head on.
“We know we need to be better on Sunday on the ball along with the discipline and shape.
“Whenever we have had success, it’s taken the whole squad to play its part.
“We have a lot of tough fixtures in February but we have a squad capable of getting points and results and have shown that throughout the season.
“We’ll be ready to go again on Sunday.
“We have players in the squad who can cause Celtic problems but if we are going to get something we will need to be braver.”