Celtic supporters had hoped they had reached a tipping point last season when it came to being disillusioned with the people running their club.

However, in spite of a largely positive reaction to the left-field appointment of Ange Postecoglou as their new manager, the disappointments just keep on coming.

Saturday’s 6-2 thrashing at home from West Ham United suggested what most observers had long realised: that expensive major surgery is required, particularly across the back five, if the team is going to compete for honours this time out. It was the third home match in a week, following on from the defeat by Championship also-rans Preston North End and, more importantly, the 1-1 draw with FC Midtjylland in the first leg of the Champions League second qualifying round.

A defeat in Jutland tomorrow night would end any hopes of the £40m windfall which accompanies participation in the group phase of the tournament offsetting last year’s Covid-related losses and optimism is in short supply among the Celtic support regarding their prospects in the wake of the humiliation at the weekend.

By contrast, Paul Lambert, the club’s former midfield general, believes that Postecoglou and his side can prevail tomorrow and change people’s perception of what can be achieved during 2021/22.

“I learned a very long time ago that you can’t read too much into results in these friendlies, even if you have shipped six goals at home,” he said. “These games are just fitness exercises and about helping to try new formations: the results don’t really matter.

“When I went on trial with Borussia Dortmund in 1986 we were turned over in our first couple of bounce games – including a derby match against Schalke – but we ended the season beating Juventus i n the Champions League final.

“I also remember that when Martin O’Neill came to Celtic in 2000 he took us to Germany and we lost 2-0 to Leipzig, who were just a little regional club at that time and not the RB Leipzig of today [then Sachsen Leipzig, they had finished sixth in Germany’s third tier two months earlier]. They absolutely pumped us that night but we went on to win the treble. I’ve also had pre-seasons when we looked good and beat everyone but ended up without a trophy so there’s no need to panic just yet.”

Lambert accepts, however, that victory in the MCH Arena is pretty much non-negotiable if Postecoglou is to change the mood music at Parkhead.

 “They’ve lost a couple of games and it doesn’t help that Rangers beat Real Madrid 2-1 on Sunday – although, when you look through that Madrid team, there were hardly any names you would recognise in it – because it looks as though Celtic are struggling while Rangers are cruising,” he conceded.

“But beating Midtjylland would change everything for Ange. For a start, it would mean that that 6-2 defeat on Saturday would be immediately forgotten and it would give him, the youngsters in the team and the new arrivals a huge shot of confidence. It wouldn’t get any easier after that, of course, because they’re almost certain to play PSV Eindhoven in the third qualifying round after their 5-1 win over Galatasaray last week but people would cut you more slack if you went out to PSV than if Mydtjylland beat you.

“In any case, I watched the first leg and thought that Celtic were the better team. They looked good middle-to-front and it’s well within their capabilities to get a result on Wednesday night. Yes, they lost a bad goal in the first leg helps them because away goals no longer count double.

“Unfortunately, their good performance was forgotten about in the wake of that West Ham defeat but I can’t say often enough that the only results that matter are in the competitive games and the new manager will benefit massively from a win against the Danes, especially with a tough Premiership opener at Hearts on Saturday night and Rangers at Ibrox just a month away.

“I like how Postecoglou comes across. There’s no kidology from him: he shoots from the hip and says what he thinks and players respect managers who are straight with them.”