Trips to Livingston, until relatively recently, had been littered with potential pitfalls for Celtic. And even this season, despite eventually running out as 3-0 winners when they travelled to West Lothian in late September, they had to overcome a moment of adversity to emerge with the points.

Joe Hart, remarkably, picked up the first red card of his long career as he misjudged the bounce of a long ball on Livi’s artificial pitch, wiping out Mo Sangare and getting his marching orders from referee John Beaton.

It was a novel experience for Hart, who was forced to watch on as his teammates dug him out a hole by rallying to eventually win with room to spare, and he says that the afternoon was an example of the mental strength this group of Celtic players may need to tap into again over this final stretch of fixtures.

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Though, he is hoping not to find either himself or his team in a similar situation tomorrow afternoon.

“I didn’t know how to play it,” Hart said.

“I just went and got a drink and sat in the TV room and watched it unfold. It wasn’t something I enjoyed but what can you do? Rules are rules.

“It was really strange. I have a smile on my face because we won, but, I dunno, was it 20 minutes in? We’re 1-0 up, looking very comfortable and playing a good game, I slightly misread a through ball on a pitch we don’t train on as much as maybe would help in that situation.

“Obviously, you have to be wary, but it didn’t surprise me with that pitch. We’ve got an astroturf pitch that we train on and it’s fine margins.

“I try my best to be on it all the time, all the preparation you can put in, but sometimes things go wrong. That’s just life and I think, as a team, we dealt with it really well that day.

“I got the tackle wrong. That’s the responsibilities of a goalkeeper. I saw the red. Which was weird. I didn’t really know what to do or play it out, but the boys were incredible.

“Scott (Bain) came on and I thought he was brilliant that day. We really controlled the game and it was an excellent performance with 10 men. Another unique situation.”

What helped Celtic’s cause on that day is that Daizen Maeda decided to do the running of two players to make up for their shortfall in numbers.

“He was absolutely superb that day,” Hart said.

“We work as a team. We couldn’t quite do the same for him when he got sent off against Atletico! But we’re all there to win.

“It’s bodies at the end of the day. We work that hard and train that consistently here that ultimately it doesn’t matter if it’s 11, 10 or whoever is on the pitch. We’re looking to execute, and I thought we were excellent.”

One thing that didn’t please Hart was the clip of him celebrating Maeda’s late stunner that clinched the points that day being released, though the Celtic fans lapped up his exuberance.

“That was naughty,” he said.

“There was no need for that clip. I was just watching the game and reacting how I would like to react.

“I know we’re in public and people are free to do what they want. I think that was footage from the live cameras they were setting up for the interviews after. So that was a shame.

“But that was Daizen scoring an absolute banger to make it three. I’d liked to have celebrated with him obviously but that’s what it was.

“Of course [the fans loved it]. But it’s me. That’s how I am. That’s the truth. It’s a shame as you want to feel comfortable to express yourself in a controlled environment, but that’s modern-day life.”

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The scrutiny on Celtic will only increase over the next few weeks as the title race reaches boiling point, but Hart is relaxed about the place that Brendan Rodgers’ squad are currently in from both a physical and mental perspective.

“For the majority of us, physically we’re in a good place,” he said.

“A few people are coming back from injuries that they’re having to manage, that’s the soap opera of a football club. There are so many side stories going on.

“But yeah, on the whole we’re in a good spot. Everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet. Mentally it’s about being together and focused. You can’t just change that focus and narrow in because it’s this time of the season. That has to be a permanent thing here and I feel that it is.

“The line is Livingston. It is getting everyone right and ready for Sunday. That’s our line at the moment and that is all the certainties and what we are focusing on.

“I know what it takes [to win a title] but many people know what it takes. But there’s only one winner. So, it’s about executing.”