MERCURIAL is a word almost exclusively reserved for outrageously talented footballers, but is not always a term of absolute endearment. The inference of course is that while the player in question has the capacity to dazzle, they lack the consistency to be dependable.

The description, or at least the way it is used in the footballing vernacular, could have been coined to describe Tom Rogic, encapsulating both his wizardry that earned him his nickname and the fragility that earned him a reputation – fairly or not – for a lack of hardiness.

But the arrival of Ange Postecoglou has brought about a rebirth in the midfielder’s Celtic career that has taken him from the brink of a move to Qatar to the centre of his compatriot’s rebuild. And the message from his manager as Rogic gets set to rack up his 22nd appearance for Celtic already this season against Hibernian tonight is that the best is yet to come.

“I know Tom well and have always felt that he’s got a something special about him,” said Postecoglou.

“He’s one of those players who most people would say they enjoy watching.

“He’s just got something different about him. Yes he’s had some issues but sometimes I think he’s one of the players who people want to put in a certain box.

“Throughout his career, he’s done some remarkable things. He’s had a fantastic career here with Celtic. You don’t stay at a football club like this unless you have something to offer.

“I still think there’s more to come. He’s only 28. In many respects his best football years could be ahead of him. Hopefully that continues.

“He’s now beyond the 50 cap mark with Australia which isn’t easy. To travel from this side of the world to play for Australia is a lot more challenging than maybe some other national teams.

“He’s done remarkably well. He’s become a senior member here at Celtic and with the national team.

“At both club and international level, he’s got plenty to offer for both teams.”

He is certainly offering more for Celtic this term than last, having already started the same number of games - 14 - this season than he did in the entirety of last season.

The big question mark surrounding Rogic has always been his fitness, and while he has only completed the full 90 minutes on three occasions under Postecoglou, his manager explained his reasoning behind consistently withdrawing the attacker around the 70 minute mark.

“He works really hard in training,” he said. “Since I’ve been here, knock on wood, he’s done everything right on and off the field.

“I think he’s looking strong in games. In some games we’ve taken him off only because we’ve wanted to change the dynamic a little bit rather than due to fitness.

“Him and David Turnbull have played a lot of football so far. We’ve just got to be careful with them not to tip them over the edge.

“We’re working hard with the sports science staff to make sure we are keeping track of their workloads. At the moment, they are both still really strong and looking bright in games.

“That’s pleasing for us because both players can make a big impact when they are on the field.”

Another attacking player at the club who has been hampered by fitness issues is Mikey Johnston, with the winger reappearing in the team from the bench over the last two games after recovering from a hamstring injury picked up in a pre-season friendly against Bristol City.

The next step for Johnston is to force his way into the starting XI, but while Postecoglou has been impressed by his recent cameos, he is wary of throwing him in from the outset too soon.

“I think the important thing for Mikey now is he’s had two or three weeks of really solid training,” he said.

“He’s worked hard with the fitness staff and himself personally on and off the field.

“We’ve got him a little bit of game time in the past couple of games and he’s done really well.

“He is available. Whether I’m going to start him, it will just be a case of seeing when the first opportunity for that to happen is.

“The key thing for me is that he keeps getting stronger and working hard at his game on and off the field. I’m sure his opportunity will come.”

Postecoglou meanwhile isn’t taking anything for granted as he prepares to take his men to Easter Road this evening, despite a downturn in form for Jack Ross’s men that has seen them lose their last three matches.

“I think they are a good side and that it will be a good challenge,” he said.

“They have had a little bit of a dip but they aren’t in crisis by any stretch.

“They’ve obviously had a couple of injuries as well and have missed a couple of players.

“Watching them against Rangers not that long ago, they gave a really good account of themselves.

“So we’re expecting a tough test there, it’s a good challenge for us and we’ll have to be at our best. “If we continue to perform as we have been we’ll give ourselves a chance of success and that’s what we’ll try to do.”