Gordon Strachan, fiery red head that he is, was always a pretty animated presence on the touchline during his days as a manager.

But at no stage in that time did he ever display his emotions quite so publicly as when Celtic got the better of Rangers in a tense League Cup final at Hampden back in 2009.

The Ibrox club were resurgent at that time. Walter Smith had returned two years earlier and had, after lavishing in excess of £30 million on a raft of new players, successfully resurrected their fortunes.

Their run to the UEFA Cup final the season before, and the fixture logjam that created in May, hindered their bid to wrest the Scottish title from their city rivals’ vice-like grasp. That term they were determined to make amends and were once again challenging strongly. The heat, then, was well and truly on the defending champions.

So it was, given the considerable pressure he was under personally, quite understandable when Strachan started dancing around his technical area and punching the air in celebration when Aiden McGeady buried a penalty in the final minute of extra-time to seal a 2-0 victory and clinch the trophy.

It was a massive statement and huge psychological boost entering the run-in. With a three point lead in the top flight table, they were strong favourites to win the Premier League for the fourth consecutive year.

But draws to Dundee United, Hearts and Hibernian along with a defeat to Rangers followed that success and they were pipped on the final day. Strachan resigned the next morning. Winning the League Cup had proved irrelevant.

So, while Celtic were quite entitled to enjoy their thrilling 1-0 triumph in the final of the Betfred-sponsored competition at Hampden yesterday and will undoubtedly take confidence into their forthcoming Ladbrokes Premiership matches as a result, it will have little if any bearing on what happens in the remainder of the campaign.

With only two points separating the two Glasgow clubs after 15 matches, and with another 23 games still to come and 69 points available, anything can still happen in the league.

Neil Lennon predicted the hard-fought win will lift Celtic last night. At the same time, though, he conceded it could make Rangers even more determined to end their reign.

“It’s massive, absolutely massive,” he said. “It’s a huge psychological lift. It’s huge. Psychologically it’s a massive shot in the arm for the players in the circumstances. But they may get more motivation from it. Now all focus is on the league.”

Any team can win a one-off match if they play to their very best of their abilities on the day and their opponents fail to do likewise. Or, as was the case yesterday, they take their chances and their foes don’t. But the side that prevails in the league is the one which shows greater consistency over a 10 month period.

How Rangers get on against Motherwell at Fir Park on Sunday and how Celtic fare against Hearts at Tynecastle on Wednesday week is more important to their chances.

When Steven Gerrard’s men beat Brendan Rodgers’ charges 1-0 at Ibrox last December to draw level with them on points in the Premiership many predicted the balance of power in Scottish football was finally set to shift after eight long years.

However, when play resumed after the winter break, Celtic, bolstered by the arrival of Oliver Burke, Jeremy Toljan and Timothy Weah in the January transfer window, went on an eight game winning run in the league, scoring 20 goals and conceding just two in the process.

Rangers, meanwhile, lost to Kilmarnock and Celtic and drew with St Johnstone, Hibernian and Kilmarnock despite bringing in Steven Davis and Jermaine Defoe on loan and finished nine points adrift in second spot.

What business is done at Parkhead and Ibrox next month will be as significant as events in Mount Florida yesterday.

Rangers are certainly better placed to sustain a title bid now than they were 12 months ago due to the experience that Gerrard has gained as a manager in that time and their extensive recruitment during the summer. They have greater strength in depth than before and should be able to cope with whatever injuries and suspensions arise in the weeks ahead.

Would they have been able to cope without Northern Ireland midfielder Davis, who has arguably been their stand-out performer in the 2019/20 campaign, at Hampden yesterday before?

Will, though, the superior resources available to Lennon at Celtic ultimately prove the difference between the two bitter adversaries and enable the Parkhead club to complete Nine-In-A-Row?

The treble treble winners had a far stronger squad before the season got underway. They still spent just shy of £15 million on the likes of Boli Bolingoli, Hatem Elhamed, Jeremie Frimpong and Christopher Jullien and brought in Mohamed Elyounoussi and Fraser Forster on temporary deals.

If, as Lennon has suggested, they sign another striker in January they will be even more formidable opponents.

There are so many factors that determine which club is crowned champions. Winning the Betfred Cup win is, while welcome for Celtic and deserved, of little importance.