YOU’RE only as good as your last result, as they say. And that is particularly true at a club like Celtic.

It has been completely forgotten in the fallout from Saturday’s draw against Motherwell, for instance, that Brendan Rodgers’ side put six past Aberdeen just a couple of weeks ago.

On that day, they played free-flowing football, created a bucketful of chances, and looked to be really hitting their straps after a slightly patchy start to the season – in terms of performances at least.

All of that optimism was wiped away though after a stodgy showing against a Motherwell team that came to Glasgow to frustrate, showed commendable discipline and spirit – particularly given their own horrendous run of results of late – and left with exactly what they came for after Jon Obika’s late header cancelled out David Turnbull’s penalty.

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If the defending for that goal was disappointing for the Celtic fans, it was their lack of ideas in breaking down Motherwell’s low block at the other end that was of more pressing concern.

They were missing a few of their key creative players, of course. There was no Reo Hatate to try and pick the lock, no Daizen Maeda to stretch Motherwell’s back five with his energy and movement, and no James Forrest to trouble the visitors with his nous and experience.

But the lack of ideas from the supporting cast, particularly in wide areas, was striking. Luis Palma has done well overall since his summer arrival, but even he had an off-day, with his penalty miss – featuring a run up that made Paul Pogba’s technique look a little rushed – capping off a poor day for the Honduran.

On the right flank, Yang Hyun-jun was patrolled well for the most part by Brodie Spencer, who also handled him pretty handily when these sides last met at Fir Park. The winger drifted inside into traffic far too often when in possession, and when he did make a good run to meet a Mikey Johnston clipped cross late on, he fluffed his header to send the ball wide from around six yards.

Neither of them managed to supply an almost anonymous Kyogo Furuhashi with even a sniff of an opportunity, and supporting striker Oh Hyeon-gyu continues to fare badly in the frequent comparisons to his predecessor Giorgos Giakoumakis.

Celtic ended the game against Motherwell with Johnston, Oh, Tilio and Turnbull in their attack, which with the greatest of respect to those players and even taking into account the absentees, may be perceived as a damning reflection on their summer recruitment.

Given that Palma, who has shown he can produce the goods at Champions League level already, is suspended for Tuesday night’s game against Lazio, it all leaves Rodgers with a bit of a conundrum in terms of providing a threat to the Italians in Rome.

Cameron Carter-Vickers had a grandstand view of his teammates as they huffed and puffed and invariably failed to blow the Motherwell wall down, but the centre-back tried to apply a little perspective after the game.

“I don’t know if the performance was necessarily disappointing,” Carter-Vickers said.

“We controlled the game for large parts and had all the territory.

“I think we probably need to show a bit more quality in the final third so that we can get the second or maybe the third goal and make the game a little bit easier for ourselves.

“So, performance wise it was probably just a bit of quality in the final third. Result wise it was definitely disappointing.”

It could be argued that there is little point in having 81 percent of the ball if you have to rely on the award of a penalty – or two – to find the net, though.

“It is difficult,” he continued.

“Any time a team puts 11 men behind the ball for most of the game it‘s hard to break them down.

“To be fair to them they worked hard in their shape and they got a lot of blocks and clearances in with the back five.

“So, it was difficult, but from our point of view we had them where we wanted them for large parts.

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“I think for us it just needs a bit more quality in and around their box.”

There is that word again. And you can be sure that ‘quality’ will again be a frequently used term in the coming weeks as Celtic manager Rodgers gives the clubs board a little jag prior to the January transfer window.

By that time, the Champions League group stage will be over, of course, and barring a sudden upturn in fortunes at that level, perhaps Celtic’s European campaign will be too.

But Carter-Vickers is taking heart from their performances so far in the competition – save for the 70-odd minute nightmare with 10 men in Madrid – to argue that all hope is not yet lost as they gear up for the Stadio Olimpico.

“It’s a totally different game,” he said.

“When a team comes up and presses you it’s completely different, there is more space for our forwards and our midfield players to try go get in behind. It’s almost easier to create chances.

“But on the flip side of that we know that the defence will be under a bit more pressure than we were against Motherwell and it’s a different game.

“It’s just fine margins. When you play against quality players, certainly in terms of their attacking players, if you give them half a chance they take it.

“You probably don’t get as many clear-cut chances and when you do get one you have to take it.

“It’s just that little bit of quality at that level we need to improve on and get better.”

Where that attacking quality is coming from, when taking the Motherwell game in isolation, is the big question.