Ange Postecoglou believes his Celtic side can reach another level as they continued their march towards the cinch Premiership title with a convincing 4-1 win against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.
On a difficult surface, Saints defender Andrew Considine turned a Kyogo Furuhashi cross into his own net in the 13th minute and the Japan striker added a second before Drey Wright pulled a goal back before the break.
Midfielder Aaron Mooy restored Celtic’s two-goal lead in the 38th minute, with Considine sent off by referee David Dickinson in added time at the end for a pull on Oh Hyeon-gyu at the edge of the box and David Turnbull adding the fourth following a short free-kick.
Postecoglou’s side have lost once in 25 league games this season and moved back nine points ahead of chasing Rangers.
And with no midweek games until Hearts visit on March 8, the Celtic boss is looking to wring even more out of his squad.
“Some really good players didn’t get on the pitch today and some really good players didn’t get in the squad,” Postecoglou said.
“For about four or five weeks now we have a game a week so that gives us the chance to work really hard at training and get everyone up another level, another notch, and increase our performance both on an individual and collective basis.
“We have set our mark as always trying to finish stronger than we started and we are well on the way to that.
“We are definitely getting stronger every week and that’s what we want to do till the end of the year.
“When you do have three games a week it limits the opportunities to work on our game, our game patterns and individual work with the guys.
“The guys want that. We can’t, as coaches, look to the games for improvement, we have to make sure we are giving them what they need on a daily basis and I’m sure we will use this period wisely.”
St Johnstone’s 2-0 win at Motherwell on Wednesday was their first victory in eight games but boss Callum Davidson was not too down about the result as he looked at the bigger picture as Saints sit in eighth place, seven points off the bottom.
He said: “I haven’t really seen the red card back. He’s pulled his jersey but I don’t know who’s coming covering. I was a wee bit disappointed in that.
“As a player you don’t think like that but as a manager you think of bigger pictures.
“I still take a lot of positives. Against a very good team I thought we did well.
“When we tried to press them high, they could open you up but I thought we got the balance OK, especially in the second half.
“My first thought is safety first. I think we’ve got eight games to get as many points as we can before the split.
“We don’t have the Old Firm so every game is winnable alright, they are all losable to.
“What we’ve shown in the last four games – the two Rangers games, Motherwell and today – is there’s a lot to be positive about.”