CARL Starfelt’s recent performances have suggested that there was a hastiness in judging his early Celtic performance.

And Ange Postecoglou has applauded the manner in which the 26-year-old has been able to find his feet following a torrid introduction to Celtic.

“I think he was unfairly judged in many respects,” said Postecoglou.  “It’s not about how they come in it’s about how they progress.  We play differently from a lot of other teams and we put different expectations on our players. 

“Carl had it as tough as anyone. We threw him in without a pre-season, virtually without a training session and asked him to play alongside guys he had never met before. Since he has become accustomed to what we do has played really well, even before the injury . 

“Him and Cam [Carter-Vickers] have a really good relationship at the back and we were really pleased to get him back in on Thursday. I was concerned at how he would go for 90 minutes but he finished the game strongly and I thought he was outstanding.”

It slips under the radar that Celtic currently have the best domestic defensive record in the league with the club’s European goals undermining the progress that has been made at the back.

“I think people look at certain games, and the times when we have conceded numbers of goals have been against decent opposition in Europe,” said the Celtic manager.

“People measure it against that but overall we have been pretty steady defensively. The thing that pleased me most about the Hearts game was the resilience the guys showed. 

“If you look at our back four at the end of the game, not one of them started the previous game in those same positions. 

“Montgomery, Starfelt, Niro didn’t even play the previous game and Josip was a right-back instead of left.  So we had to show real resilience and a mindset to keep the opposition out. For me that’s the pleasing thing, we are reacting to these challenges really positively. We are not making excuses, not making allowances. We’re getting on with it.”