YOU can’t win a league title on a cold Wednesday night in Dingwall in December, but you can certainly lose one. Celtic came within seconds of such a potentially catastrophic turn of events during the week, before showing their mettle with Anthony Ralston’s winner deep into stoppage time.

The full-back has been the unlikely hero of this campaign so far for his club, with his last-gasp header cementing a growing cult status for the 22-year-old among the Celtic support.

As is typical of the ethos under Ange Postecoglou though, Ralston’s immediate thoughts were not of the personal glory he could enjoy, but what his goal meant for the wider group.

What it showed beyond all doubt in his eyes is that this Celtic team has the stomach for the title battle, and that their faith in what they are doing has only been strengthened by the way in which – even with only 10 men – they managed to get over the line.

“We always believed throughout the game,” Ralston said. “It’s instilled in us all that no matter what happens in a game, no matter the circumstances or the challenges we’re faced with, we can overcome it.

“As a team we always felt we could win the game. And that moment, I felt it was deserved as a team that we managed to get the three points.

“For sure it is [a measure of our fortitude]. We’d challenges put in our way and it’s not easy to come up here while we also went down to 10 men. We were forced to change the team around. But, we won’t make excuses.

“We were still in the game, still kept on top and dominated. We got the opportunity and took it, which I was delighted to do.

“It’s just belief. It’s instilled in us all and it’s something that the gaffer is also big on. That we believe in ourselves no matter what’s put in front of us, that no matter what team plays we’re all important members of the squad.

“So, the main thing is it’s for the team that we scored that goal. But, of course, I’m also personally delighted that I was able to get in the right position and convert the chance.”

What was notable about the Celtic approach, even with those changes in personnel and with Carl Starfelt having been ordered off, was how little it altered.

There were no long balls being shelled into the box on the off-chance that a second ball would fall Celtic’s way, as the players stuck rigidly to a philosophy of passing and patience.

“We believe in our football and we’ve got our style of play,” said Ralston.

“It might not always be pretty, we might have to fight. We’ve got that side of things to us as well, although at the same time we always look to play the style we want and implement – even when we go down to 10 men.

“So it’s credit to the team that even in that circumstance we were still able to come away with the three points.”

Perhaps not even Ralston himself would have predicted the turnaround in his fortunes that this season has brought, with his redemption arc peaking as he rose to head home Tom Rogic’s cross.

It’s a moment he won’t soon forget, particularly as he celebrated on the pitch with his fellow Celtic supporters.

“It’s right up there with anything else,” he said. “Of course, I’ve never been involved in a last minute winner.

“I’m delighted for the supporters who travelled despite their work commitments. It’s midweek and they went all the way up to Dingwall. It’s nothing less than they deserve. We all got a bit excited, but it’s part and parcel of the game and it was a great moment.

“[I was in the] right place, right time and it’s a great cross from Tom. I found myself in the right area and I was able to convert it. So I’m delighted on a personal note, but more importantly it’s from a team point of view and I’ve helped us get three points.

“It keeps us on a good run and we continue on the right direction. All the boys were delighted, the coaching staff, the fans…it as a great moment for everyone.”

Ralston may soon top that moment though by playing a central role in earning the first silverware of the Ange Postecoglou reign at Hampden on Sunday.

Celtic now go into the League Cup Final against Hibernian buoyed by those scenes sparked by Ralston on Wednesday night, and just as they were convinced they would find that goal in the Highlands, so too are they steadfast in their belief that they are going to lift the trophy.

“It will be a special occasion for the club, the first chance this season to get a trophy,” he said. “So we’ll be going there focused on what we need to do.

“It’s important now that we rest and recover. We now put our focus on the cup final.

“Everyone involved will want to win and we’ve got the belief that we can win. So we’ll be going there confident.

“We all know the magnitude of the game. But it’s important we go into every game with the same mentality. We’ll be trying our best to win.”