Neil Lennon heralded the return to form of Darren O'Dea after Celtic scraped a 1-0 win over Hibernian in their Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash at Easter Road.
Robbie Keane's second-half penalty took the Hoops back to within 10 points of leaders Rangers, but the win was, in part, due to the Parkhead rearguard, marshalled by 23-year-old Irishman O'Dea, which showed a solidity lacking under former boss Tony Mowbray.
Interim boss Lennon said: "I think Darren O'Dea is in a good place at the minute. I think he is back to where he was a couple of years ago in terms of his composure, consistency and defending and he is bringing Josh Thompson along as well."
O'Dea insists the reason for the upturn in his form is simple - playing regularly.
O'Dea said: "This is the first time in my career I've strung 10 games together and I think that is why my form is getting better.
"Previously I have come in for four or five and then went out for four or five games.
"I'm playing more and that will improve me in itself.
"We have won a few games since I've come back but this is the one I'm most happy about.
"It's one thing defending well when you are three nil up at Celtic Park. But when you go to places like Easter Road it is tough.
"Hibs are a good side and we are all delighted with the win."
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