SCOTT Bain has paid tribute to the Celtic defence for his extraordinary clean sheet record this season after keeping another shutout in the Ladbrokes Premiership game against Hibernian at Easter Road yesterday.

Bain denied Daryl Horgan and Stephane Omeonga in the first-half and substitute Oli Shaw with a few minutes remaining in a match the Parkhead club drew 0-0 to once again justify his position as first choice keeper.

The 27-year-old, who displaced Craig Gordon as No.1 when played resumed after the winter shutdown, has now not conceded any goals in no fewer than 20 of the 26 outings he has had for the triple treble chasers in the 2018/19 campaign.

But the player insisted his team mates, Kristoffer Ajer, Filip Benkovic, Dedryck Boyata, Emilio Izaguirre, Mikael Lustig, Jozo Simunovic, Jeremy Toljan and Kieran Tierney in particular, deserve just as much of the praise.

"The clean sheets is an impressive record to look at, but credit goes to the whole team for that,” he said. "From the back four to the way we defend from the front, it's been exceptional. We limit teams to very few chances and opportunities. If I have to make one save, then I do. But credit needs to go to the team for that stat.

Neil Lennon, the Celtic interim manager, revealed yesterday that Tierney, who missed the Hibs match, will see a specialist on Thursday and could have to undergo surgery. Bain admitted the loss of the left back would be a setback to the Glasgow club, but he is confident they will be able to maintain their push for a third consecutive treble without him.

"We have always got players who can come in and stand up to the task,” he said. "Kieran is a top player and we want him in the team all the time if he's fit. But we have shown, especially in defence, that it doesn't matter who comes in, they are capable of doing the job.”

Bain felt that Celtic, who saw Ofir Marciano deny Odsonne Edouard and Simunovic with exceptional saves in injury-time, were unfortunate not to defeat Hibs at Easter Road and move to within a victory of their eighth consecutive Scottish title.

"It was a good performance,” he said. “It was just a little bit frustrating that we couldn't get the win. We created a number of good chances at the end but credit goes to Ofir for a big save in the dying moments.

"I felt we controlled the game in the second half. So for me, it was a matter of concentration. I thought one of those chances was going to come off for us but unluckily for us, it never happened.

"It was a difficult game against Hibs - we are playing a good side on a very hot day. I still think we showed the intensity in the final third at times. When we played to our standard, we cut through them and created a number of chances.

“You can see from our form since the turn of the year that we go into every game like a final. Against Hibs, we wanted to win the game and it was frustrating that we never. But we had chances to get the points, so for me it wasn't really a bad performance. We take it one game at a time and the most important one is the next one.”

The draw means that Celtic can’t retain the Premiership if they beat Kilmarnock in front of their own fans at Parkhead on Saturday. But Bain said: "I honestly don't care how we finish - as long as we finish as champions.”

Meanwhile, Bain has thanked Alex McLeish, who was sacked as Scotland manager on Thursday, for handing him his international debut and making him first choice keeper with the national team and admitted he is disappointed to see the former Rangers manager depart.

"I need to thank him for believing in me and putting the trust in me to play for Scotland,” he said. "It's a sad feeling but you need to move on from here. It's football, it happens all the time and hopefully we can get someone else in charge and pick up again.

"I wish Alex all the best and a number of boys owe him for getting the chance to play for Scotland. I'm sure there will be a few boys sad to see him go.”