YOU know that this season is going to be even sillier than is the norm around these parts when Celtic supporters are mildly panicked after a victory, but there has been much furrowing of brows following the scrappy victory over St Mirren on Wednesday night.

Indeed, even the 5-0 win over Ross County at the weekend wasn’t met with universal acclaim, although some concerns over the level of performance for the first hour were not only justified, but shared by manager Neil Lennon.

Given what is at stake this season, it is perhaps unsurprising that knickers are being moistened a little earlier than in any normal campaign, but perhaps a little perspective is required.

The impressive start to the season on the other side of the city may have heightened the scrutiny by which Celtic’s own form is being examined, but as laudable as Rangers’ record-breaking run of clean sheets has been in particular, the fact remains that Celtic are just three points and one goal behind their old foes and have a game in hand.

If they win that match against Aberdeen, then they will be back where they feel they belong at the top of the table, and all without really getting going. But as much as a step back from the criticism being aimed at Lennon and some of his key men should be encouraged given the embryonic stage of the season, those failings shouldn’t be ignored either.

Scott Brown in particular seems to be coming in for some early stick, with his slow start to the season being seized upon as evidence that his 35-year-old body just isn’t up to the rigours of leading Celtic to yet another Premiership crown. Such barbs have become the norm in the last few seasons at this stage though, so neither skipper nor manager will be panicking too much about his legs just yet.

The arrival of Shane Duffy has been an instant success, with the Irishman bagging two goals in two games since he joined Celtic on a season-long loan from Brighton. His signing was the signal for Lennon to unleash his favoured 3-5-2 formation, but while two wins from two away games have followed, there are some questions that have been thrown up in those matches too.

Chief amongst those is why Lennon tinkered with the back three in particular for the game against St Mirren, when it was clear to everyone present in Dingwall on Saturday – or those lucky few who could to get a stream to work at home – that Duffy, Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer could have done with becoming a little more acquainted with one another.

The one goal that Celtic have conceded over the last week had more to do with the bluntness of their opponents and the heroics of goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas against Ross County in particular than with any great defensive work from Celtic, and with Barkas himself a new addition that is settling in behind that back three, there is a strong argument for playing that back unit together as often as possible.

As it was, Hatem Elhamed came in and looked decidedly shaky, but Lennon may reasonably point to the glut of fixtures that lie ahead before the next international break as justification for giving the Israeli a much-needed run-out.

There are question marks too over the wing-back positions, with Greg Taylor yet to really nail down the slot on the left-hand side. If anything, he looks a little inhibited by the fear of making mistakes in a Celtic jersey at this stage. Boli Bolingoli is of course now enjoying a year-long vacation from the club in Turkey after his day-trip to Spain, and Lennon has admitted that he is looking to strengthen in that area.

Indeed, James Forrest was deployed there in the Ross County game, and was far from effective. He looked much more at home on the right-hand side against St Mirren during the week, but whether that is a position that gets the best out of him is also still open to debate despite his wonderfully taken header that proved decisive in the match.

Up front too there are points of debate, with Patryk Klimala coming in during the week to partner an out-of-sorts Odsonne Edouard, and doing not very much at all. He is a young player of course and Lennon has stressed that he is a work in progress, but the Pole found it tough going to get involved at all against a deep-lying St Mirren defence. The problem for Klimala is though, that is what Celtic will be coming up against more often than not on the domestic scene.

Edouard’s poor display by his standards on Wednesday can be put down to a bad night at the office, with his class sure to shine through once more. Lennon would likely prefer to partner Albian Ajeti with the Frenchman in the long-term, and their outing together in the Highlands yielded promise with both men getting on the scoresheet. I suspect that will be the go-to duo when Ajeti is finally up to full speed.

All in all though, there is clearly plenty for Lennon to ponder at this early stage, but having found the answers half-way through last season when the pressure was really being applied by Rangers, there should surely be a little faith that he is well capable of ironing out these creases in good time. The time for squeaky bums is still some way off.