THERE was much to impress both the impartial observer and the Celtic supporter in the performance the Parkhead club produced in their convincing win over Hibernian yesterday.

The lively contribution of Jeremie Frimpong, the teenage wing back who was restored to the starting line-up in the wake of his sensational showing against Rigia in Latvia last Thursday night, was a joy to watch.

Albian Ajeti, too, netted once again before hobbling off injured to take his tally for the 2020/21 season to five and move to the top of the Premiership scoring charts.

And David Turnbull, who replaced Ryan Christie at half-time, shone in the second-half to underline exactly why the defending Scottish champions had been prepared to pay Motherwell £3m to secure his services last month.

It was a display and result that augurs well for the play-off match against Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Thursday night as well as the remainder of the league campaign.

But the fact the comfortable 3-0 triumph was achieved without two of Celtic’s key performers – James Forrest and Christopher Jullien are both sidelined at the moment – was perhaps the most commendable aspect.

Winger Forrest and centre half Jullien were instrumental to the success that Neil Lennon’s side enjoyed last term. They are, when fit, guaranteed starters. But neither man was missed in the slightest in the win over one of the form teams in the country.

That showed that Lennon has the strength in depth required to both challenge in Europe and maintain a push for a record-breaking tenth consecutive Scottish title in the months ahead in abundance.

“It’s a great squad and that’s what the manager he wanted,” said captain Scott Brown afterwards. “He wanted competition throughout and that’s what we’ve got. Every week you’re playing for a place.

“Last season we played about 64, 65 games. So, for us, it’s about the squad and being able to deal with as many games as possible. There are going to be injuries and suspensions and that’s part and parcel.

“It’s about the players who come in. It’s not just about the 11 players out there, it’s also about those working hard to get a chance, those behind the scenes who nobody sees.”

There has been much speculation about the future of Odsonne Edouard in recent weeks and debate about why the French striker, who started on the bench again yesterday, has been left out of the starting line-up.

Ajeti, who pulled his hamstring celebrating his opportunity strike, has quietly gone about his business. He showed great reactions to pounced a loose ball and net yesterday. Brown has certainly been encouraged by what he has seen of the £5m signing from West Ham.

“He’s done really well,” he said. “He’s strong, he’s physical, he holds the ball up really well and he’s scoring goals. It’s just frustrating he’s got injured, especially when he’s just been getting into the groove.

“It’s about being in the right spot at the right time and he’s got that. He’s got that awareness and we’ve seen it in training. It’s hard for new people to come in here and hit the ground running. But he really has, he’s scoring goals and his link up play today was also exceptional.

“We’re fortunate we’ve got great players in attack. We’ve got Griff (Leigh Griffiths) ready to come back too and he was on the bench today. The squad’s in a good place just now. I’m sure Ajeti will want to come back as quickly as possible.”

The presence of Griffiths on the replacements bench buoyed his team mate and close friend.

“He’s been working hard and he knows what’s expected of him,” said Brown. “Everyone knows what he can do on the pitch. His left foot’s a wand. He’s one of the best finishers I’ve ever played with. So we just to make sure he’s match fit and get him up to speed as quickly as possible.”

Griffiths wasn’t needed yesterday. Callum McGregor opened the scoring with a well-taken shot from outside the Hibernian penalty area and Mohammed Elyounoussi bagged a third after being supplied by Turnbull.

It was the most the Scotland Under-21 midfielder has been involved since his move. He was relaxed on the ball, his passing was precise and the assist will have lifted his confidence no end. Brown is an admirer.

“He’s calm, he’s composed on the ball and he sees a forward pass too,” said Brown. “He’s also got great awareness. It’s great to have another Scottish boy in the team. He knows what it’s all about also, winning games for Celtic and how big a club this is.”

Turnbull looks to have a bright future ahead of him at Celtic. As does Frimpong. Asked where the Dutch youngster could go in the game, Brown said: "Really far up that wing - and really quick because I can't catch him.”

If they can replicate this sort of form going forward, Celtic can very easily overtake Rangers at the top of the Premiership table and pull away from their city rivals in the months ahead.