Tonight our club plays a game in Turkey which is absolutely meaningless in terms of what the result can accomplish.
I think it’s a continuing credit to our supporters that any of them are willing to attend such a non-event, but many have travelled there regardless.
Be careful tonight, Bhoys.
Things in Turkey are tense, as they are across the continent at the moment, and it’s a country which is known for giving what we’ll characterise as a “difficult reception” to fans hailing from this sunny isle at the best of times.
Our supporters have a great reputation abroad, and some skirmishes with the Amsterdam police aren’t going to change that … but this is probably the worst time in years for any supporter from a UK club to be walking around Istanbul.
I have friends amongst the travelling faithful tonight, and my mind will be on them getting home safely to a far greater degree than it’ll be concentrated with what goes on out on the park.
I think this might be a really poor night for the team – completing a really poor tournament so far – and as such I’m tempering any expectations I have about the game.
Our European adventures this season have been disastrous; I can’t put it more plainly than that.
The tactics have been generally awful, the performances often lamentable, the results about as bad as we could have got.
We’re on course to finish with the lowest points tally of a Scottish club in the group stages of a European competition ever.
Not good enough, Celtic.
Not good enough by a long way.
So I’ll watch tonight with no great enthusiasm, and with interest only in seeing if the team can salvage a little pride.
I’m not hopeful.
Fenerbahce needs a result to give themselves a shot at qualification; I expect them to be fired up and ready to roll.
As I said earlier, my main concern is for my fellow fans, and that everyone gets home alright.
I have no doubts that they’ll behave with their customary good humour and decency, and I hope the home supporters behave in the same way.
For once my mind won’t be totally on the football, just on everyone returning in one piece and none the worse for the experience.
Enjoy yourselves out there, folks … and take care.