We always knew that one day, Celtic’s incredible unbeaten run had to come to an end.

Tynecastle is certainly a venue that you could have pinpointed as a place where that could happen, but what I would say is, I certainly didn’t expect it to be such a resounding defeat.

Normally you do get a game at Tynecastle, and what happened is that Hearts were up for it while Celtic simply weren’t.

As each passing game had gone by, some of the performances weren’t as convincing as they may have been before. The only shock was how it happened, and the severity and the manner of the defeat caused a bit of concern.

Had it been a narrow loss somewhere like Tynecastle, then people would have accepted the inevitability of it, but the severity of the defeat compounded the ending of the record.

Of course, the win over Partick Thistle during the week was the 35th game of their season already, but that’s what squads are for.

You have to be careful to go down the route of blaming fatigue, because if you do talk about that too much then it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, and you end up feeling tired.

Ok, Celtic have started their campaign away back with the qualifiers for the Champions League, but that goes with the territory and you have to accept that. That’s why Celtic have the squad that they have. They just have to deal with that.

The only thing I would say is that because of the winter shutdown, you now get a glut of fixtures around Christmas, so if you want that break then these are the consequences. That goes for everyone, not just Celtic.

They still have two big games coming up, and I think after that the break will come at a good time for Celtic. It did them the world of good last season, and I’m sure we will find the same thing this year.

They had to get back to winning ways against Partick Thistle on Wednesday, and it was a comfortable victory. That was partly down to the opposition, who came with a plan of damage limitation.

The highlights were two great goals, of course, but other than that it was a game that they just had to collect the three points from after the defeat on Sunday.

Attention now turns to the games before the winter break, and while minds may already be drifting towards the New Year derby against Rangers, let’s not forget that today’s game against Aberdeen is a top-of-the-table clash.

Aberdeen played exceptionally well against Hibs, but I think that ironically, the fact they will be missing a Celtic player from their line-up in Ryan Christie will really hurt them.

Christie has done exceptionally well for the Dons this season, and I think he will be a huge miss for them this afternoon.

I’m sure that Derek McInnes may say otherwise, but I think that he has been integral to a lot of Aberdeen’s good performances this season, and he will be so hard for them to replace with the role he carries out for the side.

I really believe that he is a player who could come back to Celtic Park in the summer and make a real impact on Brendan Rodgers’s first-team plans. Put it this way, he isn’t doing himself any harm by the way he is performing at Aberdeen.

The loan move was the right thing to do at the time for the boy in particular and for Celtic, and Aberdeen are getting the benefit of that.

A former Celt, Gary Mackay-Steven, may just be finding his feet at last though, and he will be a player who will have to be watched after his hat-trick last week. That is bound to have given the lad a massive confidence boost.

Celtic will go into the match in confident mood as well though. The performance up at Pittodrie when they won there back at the tail-end of October was probably their best domestic performance of the season, and they won with ease.

They really caught Aberdeen out with the formation they went with on the night. Whether they go with that again on this occasion, I don’t know, and Derek McInnes may be better prepared to deal with that today in any case.

But what I will say is that no matter the way Celtic line up, I still fancy them to win. You will see a different resolve from Aberdeen no doubt, and Celtic will know that, and it has the makings of a good game.

Celtic have got the better players, so that is why they are favourites, but Aberdeen will feel that they owe it to themselves to put on a better performance.

They lost two finals to Celtic as well last season, and finished second to Celtic in the league too, but they always seem to just fall short in these big games.

The stability provided by Derek McInnes’s future being settled may just help them try to seek that elusive result against Celtic, and I think that definitely affected them in the Rangers games recently. I think they are capable of causing Celtic problems if they play to their absolute best and Celtic have an off day.

But they will have to show more backbone and resolve than they have done in recent meetings between the sides, and even then, I fancy that it won’t be enough.