Out with the old and in with the new and all of the January trimmings.

If Hogmanay is a traditional time for self-reflection and an assessment of directions, it is difficult to view Celtic’s year as anything other than the rollercoaster variety.

This time 12 months ago the loose thread which had been dangling from the opening weeks of the campaign was about to be yanked with some venom. An ill-timed trip to Dubai was the catalyst for holes appearing that were way too wide for any patchwork to tape over.

Into a dressing room which had lost the league by an embarrassing 25 points, their worst return this side of the millennium, had finished the season without a trophy for the first time in over a decade and held a core of key players – Odsonne Edouard, Ryan Christie, Scott Brown, Kris Ajer – who had all decided that their futures lay elsewhere, walked Ange Postecoglou.

Reflections of his opening six months in charge would have to do more than award simple pass marks given the scope of the job the Greek-Australian was faced with.

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A championship challenge remains albeit that six points off the pace of Rangers has been a source of concern at times. Yet, the capture of the first piece of silverware of the season and the assimilation of a clutch of new signings including, of course, the immediate talisman in Kyogo Furuhashi, has offered an indication of the strength of personality that Postecoglou has brought to the role.

His dryness has offered a source of some amusement at times – and heaven knows the word ‘mate’ suggests anything but at times – but the evidence of these opening months of his regime suggest a coach whom players respond to.

If the biggest indicator of coaching nous is to improve players that managers have inherited then nowhere would there be a bigger commendation that in the performances of Anthony Ralston this term.

Such has been the full-back’s renaissance that it hints at the former Australian national manager spinning gold from straw.

Ralston spoke recently of feeling that his time at the club was at its end and few would have envisaged the turnaround which lay in wait.

If the opening months have offered a decent foundation to go and build upon, the ultimate assessment is the league title and never more so in a year when it can open the gates to Champions League football.

The early weeks of January may be quiet off the field for Celtic but the expectation is that there will be midnight oil burning as Postecoglou strengthens in order to make further inroads into the path he is taking.

The next month as the window opens could be as crucial as anything that has gone on in the opening half of the season.