Neil Lennon has warned Hibernian he will not stand for any more excuses if they fail to live up to their impressive Celtic Park display.
The Leith side came close to a shock win over Brendan Rodgers’ undefeated Hoops before the international break.
John McGinn’s double put them in front with 13 minutes left but Callum McGregor hit back for Celtic to snatch a 2-2 draw.
But that Parkhead performance was just what Lennon was looking for and he has told his players he wants them to match that standard every week.
Speaking ahead of Aberdeen’s visit to Easter Road on Saturday, he said: “The Celtic performance didn’t surprise me and the boys have no excuses now.
“That’s the level they can play at and the quality of performance they can produce.
“The way they handled the game and the circumstances was everything I wanted and what I knew I could get from the the team.
“They now need to maintain that level and if they do, we’ll have a great season.
“We have three great games coming up – Aberdeen, Celtic again in the Betfred Cup, then Hearts. Three screamers. That can help us get the boys focused.
“It’s a good marker for how good we can be. We’ve already proved ourselves in Glasgow by beating Rangers and almost winning at Celtic Park.
“So we can play really well against the best. It’s the other games that worry me in terms of the mentality of the team.
“Subconsciously it’s easy to get yourself up for these games. It flows. Now I want us to take that approach into every game.
“They tend to lose their way at times. I’ve seen it a couple of times this season and I don’t want to see it again.
“But when they perform like they did last time they have no excuses for any abject performance now.”
However, until Hibs can cut out the sloppiness that has cost them at times this season, such as August’s 3-1 home defeat to Hamilton, then Lennon admits they will struggle to keep up with the likes of this weekend’s opponents.
“I think we’ve got a bit to do yet,” he replied when asked how close his side were to matching Aberdeen’s recent achievements.
“I’ve been really impressed with them. Derek has lost Niall McGinn, Jonny Hayes and Ryan Jack but then recruited really good players to replace them.
“They have started the league season really strongly – and that’s where we want to get to.
“But I think we’ve got a bit to do that, although we have started the process as we want to break into the top three or four bracket.”