After a fairly routine win over Raith Rovers to seal a League Cup semi-finals place, Celtic fans could have been forgiven for thinking their luck was turning.

Step forward, Dundee United. Tam Courts' Tangerines (and the crossbar) put in a sturdy display to hold the Hoops to a 1-1 draw at Parkhead as Ange Postecoglou's flawless domestic home record fell.

In the aftermath the manager, as well as players such as James McCarthy and Albian Ajeti, came in for criticism while the issues of squad depth and injuries reared their heads again as Josip Juranovic was forced off in the first half.

On the positive side, young wingers Jota and Liel Abada were in impressive form despite the team's failure to win.

Postecoglou addressed all of these topics and more in his media commitments. Here, The Celtic Way dissects what the manager had to say and ponders the overarching themes running through his quotes.

First things first: the result. Postecoglou told Celtic TV that he felt he should take responsibility, saying: "I'm disappointed for the lads. We created enough chances to win a couple of games here. Unfortunately, they didn't go in for us. The players tried awfully hard but it just wasn't to be.

"Sometimes, as a manager, you've just got to take the responsibility for the result away from the players. They gave everything. As I say, it's a game where we created enough chances to win comfortably and it wasn't for the want of trying - we hit the crossbar three times."

There's no doubt what Postecoglou wants to accentuate here. His overriding concern after the Livingston defeat was how blunt and un-Celtic the team's performance was and, in that respect, he is correct to point out this draw was not on a level with that insipid display. 

That said, the end result was not victory and that grates with fans after a start to the season which has already brought three defeats and sees Celtic six points off the top already.

When this was put to him, Postecoglou came out swinging. He told Clyde 1: "I know people are wanting to push me on some kind of edge of a ledge somewhere, it’s just not going to happen. I don’t worry about those things. I look at how my team is playing and what we’re trying to create.

“I know that frustrates people because I know they want me to say. I know what the club’s about, I know what the expectations are and I believe the road we’ve started on will get us there, so we’ll just keep going. It’s a weird league. You call things early here, don’t you? It’s quite remarkable that we’re seven games in and people are calling the title already.

READ MORE: 'Celtic should have won' is becoming scant consolation as draw with Dundee United exacerbates poor league start - Sean Martin

“It’s just not how I work and I’m not pulling up stumps after seven games because other people seem to think there’s some sort of unsurmountable challenge out there for us. If we weren’t playing well and we were struggling through things then by all means I’d be looking at things a lot differently.

“But with the effort we’re putting in at the moment, the football we’re playing, the chances we’re creating and what we’ve got to come back into the team, I just see it totally differently”.

There's lots to unpack here but the primary point is that Postecoglou will not play to the narrative laid before him. The Greek-Australian makes it clear he knows that the criticism of his team's start comes down to not winning enough so far but he retains his belief that the end product will encompass victories as much as verve. The worry for the fans is that this will take simply too long to happen.

But there is more than just media-defensive tactics at play here. It's fairly simple: if he doesn't make it clear he totally believes in his plans - even in a poor patch - then why should the players? He is speaking to them as much as the fans or media here.

As well as defending his record to date, Postecoglou makes a point of mentioning Celtic's missing players. With his first-choice centre-back, left-back, central midfielder, winger and striker all out injured there is a definite depth issue being laid bare. That could yet get worse before it gets better as Josip Juranovic - ostensibly the first-choice right-back although playing on the left against United - and James McCarthy both forced off injured on Sunday.

On this, the manager was slightly more optimistic that it won't wreak havoc with his plans the way injuries to Callum McGregor and Kyogo Furuhashi have. As he told the written press"Josip felt his hamstring a little bit. We hope it isn't too bad. We will get it scanned and see how it goes.

“We’ve just got to get through to the next international break. By then Giorgos Giakoumakis should be available. Kyogo (Furuhashi) isn’t too far away and so is Callum (McGregor). (James) Forrest and Mikey Johnston will come back to help us - we’re hoping post-international break.

"James McCarthy had a fair tackle early on and was feeling the effects of that knock so we just thought we’d change it up at half-time. We didn’t want to make it worse.” 

The silver lining from Sunday's draw was the performance of on-loan Benfica winger Jota. The Portuguese was in scintillating form and - coupled with Liel Abada on the opposite flank - provided a bright spot for Celtic fans on an otherwise dreary day.

While the fact it was two inexperienced youngsters the team relied upon in a tight game raises its own questions, Postecoglou felt the two players merited specific praise. He added: "They were unbelievable. They are just starting their Celtic careers. Liel is 19 years old and this is Jota’s first real crack at regular senior football. With that comes responsibility. I thought they were both outstanding and both could have had a couple of goals."