If I were in Brendan Rodgers’ shoes this morning I know what my first phone-call of the day would be.

I’d be on the line to Dedryck Boyata to tell him to put his flipflops and his suncream away and get himself on the first flight back to Glasgow. And it’s not looking for a favour off the defender - it’s telling him that his club needs him. I appreciate that it is not ideal.

But Boyata has trained right up until last weekend. He has played three games at the World Cup and his fitness levels will still be there. It might mean that he would need to get a little bit of time off at the other side but right now these games are the most important of Celtic’s season.

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And you need the most experienced players than you have at your disposal there to try and get you through them. Boyata has improved enormously as a player.

He has eradicated a lot of the unforced errors that seemed to blight his game for a time and there is no-one who gets to play for the Belgian national team who is not of a certain standard. He will also have been taken enormous confidence from playing over in Russia.

It makes sense to bring him back for Wednesday’s game against Rosenborg as Celtic look to engineer a decent firtst-leg result to take to Trondheim the following week. I also have to say that I think there are extenuating circumstances when he comes to looking now at how short Celtic have been made to look defensively.

I like the look of Jack Hendry and Kristoffer Ajer but that is a partnership in the middle of defence that I’d expect to see someway down the line. I’m not sure it is quite robust enough just yet for Champions League qualification games. No-one would have foreseen a red-card like Jozo Simunovic’s the other night and that incident coupled with the World Cup is what has left Celtic scrambling for cover in that position. I’d have no sympathy for Simunovic for the dismissal either. I felt right away that it was a red-card offence and the thing about it was that, at 4-0 up and coasting, it was a challenge that he did not need to make. The guy next to me at the game thought it was a harsh call but I would have to say that in my view the red card was merited. And it does give Celtic a considerable problem that they could well have done without.

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This time last season they put Rosenborg out of the second qualifying round after James Forrest gave them a 1-0 win over in Norway after a stalemate in Glasgow so we all know that the bar will be raised from the standard of Alashkert. The one thing that I did think was notable last night was not just how fluent the performance was but also how fit they look as a team. I think at this stage of the season that can be huge in terms of coming through the qualifiers. Given that they played 80-odd minutes with ten-men, it really was a shift that they put in but they were still running in the final minutes. With Rosenborg already well into their season, I do think that is a real bonus that the squad already seems up to speed.

Ideally you would always want to play that first leg away from home in order that you know exactly what you need to do in the return leg but just as it was at this stage last season, it hasn’t transpired that way. You need to get on with it and I do think that Celtic will be aiming for a couple of goals and a clean sheet to take with them to Trondheim.

These games are essentially the matches that underpin the mood of the entire season. There is no-one who needs to be told just what they mean for the club and how vital they are, not just in terms of their financial weight but also because of the prestige in terms of making it into the group stages of Europe’s premier tournament. Next Wednesday is a huge night for the club and that’s why I’d be onto Dedryck because right now Celtic need him to get into the backline and help them see this one out.