When it comes to losing a game against Rangers, as big a game as they come, people start looking for scapegoats.

And I think Scott Brown falls into this category this week.

I’ve heard people say he could head off to Australia now, that his time has come, that his influence is on the wane at Celtic. But I just don’t buy it.

Brown worked his socks off at Ibrox on Saturday but he was poor. He had a bad game. It happens. And let’s be honest, it hasn’t happened very often for Celtic in these high profile games, has it?

He was poor, the entire Celtic midfield was poor, but at least Brown showed.

He didn’t go into hiding.

I am not going to name names here but if I was in his shoes this week as Celtic captain or in Brendan Rodgers’ shoes I’d be asking a few questions of my team-mates.

The ones who disappeared. Who were clearly spooked by the big Rangers crowd, who didn’t show for the ball and who lacked an ounce of courage when Celtic were crying out for it. Brown will know himself that he had a rotten day of it but you cannot question his commitment or his appetite for these matches – there are one or two others that you certainly could.

Celtic remain on top of the league, they have a Europa league game against Valencia to look forward to and you have to remember that they are still going for a treble Treble. This is not the time where you want to be losing players but rather making sure that you come back out of the window stronger than when you went into it.

That doesn’t happen if you know that your captain is on his way. I just think that with a little bit of pressure on now, Brown is exactly the kind of character that you want in the dressing room.

You want him to kick a few backsides and get people aware of what is at stake.

I do think that the result at the weekend might be a bit of a wake up call for a few people.

I’ve been saying for weeks now that Celtic are in a title race and they are in a title race because they are shooting themselves in the foot. Its unheard of that at this stage of the season they would have lost four games on the road.

They need to go away and have a good hard look at that and, of course, we all expect to see a big transfer window now. No-one got what they wanted and there has been an expectancy on this window almost as soon as the summer one closed.

I don’t actually think that the defeat at Ibrox would have highlighted that any more.

It has been there all season to see what Celtic need and I don’t think that has changed any with the loss to Rangers.

Timothy Weah looks like a done deal with it simply a matter of when rather than if he arrives but at just 18, I think Celtic still need another forward in. We don’t know when Leigh Griffiths will be back and nor do we know the extent of Odsonne Edouard’s injury.

In saying that, I think that Brendan will have regretted his choice not to start with Odsonne on Saturday, whether he was struggling or not.

Knowing that you have the best part of three weeks off before the next game, I would have been sorely tempted to get the big lad out on the pitch, even if you know you are only going to get 45 minutes out of him.

Celtic were well beaten on Saturday. I don’t think there is anyone who would argue with that but I did think that the manner in which Rangers celebrated the result told a story of the gulf that still exists between the sides.

And if I was Brendan I would be making sure that my players saw it in preparation of that next game in March.

They did celebrate as though they had won the league itself and I get why to an extent. There was so much frustration tied up in there given just how often they have been second best to Celtic and how often they have gone now without any silverware but ultimately they still have a lot of work to do.

I was on the end of defeats to Rangers and they are never easy to take. It is a bitter pill to swallow and I just wonder if it will have given a few of the Celtic boys a good shake.

I still think they will go on and win an eighth successive title. I think they have the better squad and the best players in the country but they missed a golden chance to really disappear over the horizon this month.

The defeat at Easter Road told a story and even up at Pittodrie I felt that they papered over the cracks a bit. So let’s see what they have got now.

There are a few weeks to get players back and fit and there is time to go out and bring in the guys that you have had the best part of four months to tee up.