WHAT a hugely disappointing night it was on Thursday for Celtic. There is no dressing it up, it was a really poor display from them over the piece, and given how wasteful they were at one end and how careless they were at the other, they probably got what they deserved.

There will be a lot of criticism of Neil Lennon in the aftermath of the defeat to Copenhagen and some of it is justified. It’s easy to be wise after the fact, and many fans will probably point to the decision to put Kristoffer Ajer at right-back as a factor in the defeat. While it may sound obvious though, the only reason we are hearing about the tactics is because Celtic got beat, and the reason that Celtic got beat was down to how slack they were in defence at Celtic Park and the gilt-edged chances they squandered over both the home and away games.

You can’t say that those aspects of football really have all that much to do with the tactical set-up at all. Celtic’s players had numerous opportunities to put this tie out of sight, and when they didn’t do so, they paid the price.

That is what will be all the more frustrating for Neil Lennon and I’m sure, all the Celtic players and supporters. Copenhagen were a decent enough outfit, but after beating Lazio both home and away, Celtic would have been expecting to have enough about them to see off the Danes.

Where Neil Lennon perhaps did make a mistake in my book was that he showed Copenhagen a little too much respect at Celtic Park. I can understand being cautious and going with one up front over there, but I thought that Celtic really missed the partnership between Leigh Griffiths and Odsonne Edouard up front on Thursday night, with the Frenchman cutting an isolated and ineffective figure for a lot of the evening.

For me, the partnership has been working, and I feel that Celtic would have created even more opportunities had the manager shown faith in the 3-5-2 system that has worked so well for them since the winter break.

But listen, Celtic still had more than ample opportunity to score the goals that would have put this tie out of sight over the two games, and no more so than the chance that fell the way of Mohamed Elyounoussi in the first half of the home game.

Had the winger found the net with that one, as he really should have, we might have been talking very differently.

The bottom line is though, that we are not. If you are poor up front and poor at the back, it’s a combination that leads to the sort of result that Celtic got.

Copenhagen’s first goal on Thursday night will be particularly disappointing for Celtic, and of course, for Jozo Simunovic in particular. He didn’t look comfortable all night, and ultimately, he cost his side.

It was a strange night all round. Perhaps there was an expectation from both the fans and players that it was all just going to happen, Celtic would score and do enough to go through. But it doesn’t always work out like that.

It could be that the fans were turning up and expecting to see a victory, and there is a difference between that expectancy of a win and the hope of win. As the game went on and it remained tight, a nervousness seemed to creep into the fans and I think that filtered through to the players.

European nights can occasionally be like that at Celtic Park. The nervy atmospheres are usually more reserved for the qualifying games, because there is so much at stake, but I thought there was an element of that on Thursday night.

The positive thing for Celtic now is that they have a huge game this weekend to start to make it up to the supporters, with the Scottish Cup quarter-final at St Johnstone. They simply can’t afford to slip up.

This team have shown over the past few years that they react well to setbacks, and they will be expecting to do so again to maintain this incredible record they have in domestic cup football.

Their record against St Johnstone has been exceptional in recent times, and that will give them confidence going up to McDiarmid Park, where they have scored for fun lately.

The hosts will probably feel they will be getting Celtic at a good time off the back of the defeat to Copenhagen, and they will be high in confidence after a very good performance and result against Rangers last weekend.

Given the track record of this Celtic side in bouncing back quickly from a bad result though, I think they will have enough about them to progress.

It just goes to show that the old adage about you only being a game or two away from a crisis at the Old Firm clubs rings true, and that momentum can shift so quickly.

Over the winter break we were all talking about Rangers flying high, then up until this week it was all about how Celtic were cruising towards another Treble and the latter stages of the Europa League.

With Celtic crashing out and Rangers pulling off a hugely impressive result against Braga in Portugal, all of a sudden everyone is saying that it is Steven Gerrard’s men riding the crest of a wave once more.

Celtic will be looking to seize that initiative back for the domestic run-in, starting tomorrow in Perth.