The countdown has started.
Eight games to go, including two in the cup.
That’s what separates these players from a unique moment in history, an unbeaten domestic campaign. It is no longer speculative. When there were 20 games left it was a nonsense. When there were 15 left it still seemed like an outside chance.
We are now in single digits. This is real.
This could really happen.
There is a lot of water to flow under the bridge between now and the end of the season.
Two matches at Hampden stand between us and this achievement, which would fold in a domestic treble as if the history itself wasn’t enough. There will tough games in the league; every team still wants to beat us, but there are only six opportunities left.
A few people have told me in the last week that this doesn’t bother them all that much, that the treble itself is all that really matters and I agree. But I must admit that I am now excited about this. We’re really close now, and I look forward to every game with that mix of anticipation and trepidation that always accompanies a big match.
They are all big matches now.
We found that easy today. There was some tension when Kilmarnock equalised but we upped our game and we rolled over them in the end. Our regular performers produced the goods, as they always do, but this is a squad game and we’ll see what team lines up next weekend. They have eight days, and some of them will be restful ones. That’s a nice wee break from playing, and it’s rare that these guys have had that this season.
Some of them definitely need it.
Others have been in the stand for a few weeks, and Rogic for longer, and it was equally good to see him and Moussa getting some game time today. I love to watch Scott Sinclair, as we all do, and you get the feeling he could score in every game, but it’s so great to see our top striker back where he belongs, and getting ready for another round of skelping.
I hope Leigh is on the way back to fitness too, because we’ve missed him as much as we’ve missed Moussa. It says a lot for this squad that even without them both we have kept on motoring. This is a team that has such resilience.
I don’t think I’ve ever watched a Celtic side in which I have such confidence.
Even if this season doesn’t end with the unbeaten record, it looks certain to be special just the same.
Today we equalled our own consecutive games unbeaten record – 32, in 2003-04 – and the six league games left affords us the opportunity to reach 100 points … we are just ten short at the moment. The SPL points record is ours too; 103, set in 2001-02. That’s also in sight.
I don’t believe we’ll hit the scoring record; we are currently twenty short of that. It’s another one that belongs to us, of course; 105 in 2003-04, the same season we had the consecutive unbeaten run. We’ve already achieved a home league campaign without losing a match. We’ve achieved an away league campaign without losing too … those are nice things to achieve and I think it’s certain we’ll achieve one or both of them again.
It seems amazing to think that if we get through a season without losing a game that we won’t shatter every record, but we hold enough of them that it won’t be a big deal not to sweep the boards. We’ll have to settle for smashing those we do, winning the treble and entering the history books. That’s not too shabby, is it?
I am loving every second of this.
Can you believe it’s not even been twelve months since we lost at Hampden and went out of the Scottish Cup?
The transformation is just incredible.
And the best may still be to come.