Yesterday, Brendan gave his pre-match press conference and issued a cutting put-down of the Sevconuts.
It wasn’t vicious, it wasn’t arrogant, it wasn’t boastful or vindictive in any way.
It was a little Simple Truth.
This has been exactly the sort of week we thought it would be; Sevco talking big and the media boldly going where they haven’t gone since the last time that lot won a couple of games on the bounce. Chris Sutton had it 100% right today when he said that you get this out of Ibrox (and the press) every time they put together “a run”.
But this time they are especially loud and full of themselves, whereas inside Celtic Park there is an almost spiritual calm. We’re doing everything right, we’re approaching this the correct way. And yesterday, when asked face to face in a media conference about the Ibrox bluster, he gave an answer that was as good as it gets.
“I’m not one to look over the fence to see what the neighbour has because that’s irrelevant to us,” he said. “They obviously feel really, really confident but we’ve been there before – back when they were going for 55. It is a similar feeling, a similar noise. If you have that expectancy then great, you have to go and deliver.”
And that’s the crux of it; if you’re going to keep talking big you sure as Hell better be able to back it up. Craig Levein got his comeuppance last night from Neil Lennon, and I fully expect that Murty will be doing some backtracking tomorrow night.
Brendan knew just how to place the last week in its proper context; the crack about looking “over the fence to see what the neighbour has” was sublime, a subtle way of reminding them that we’re the ones with the money in the bank and the best squad in the country.
It’s just a little reminder of what the press doesn’t want to acknowledge far less write.
Sutton’s article echoed something Brendan knows well; this weekend isn’t really about Sevco at all, far less “how far they’ve come.” It’s all about us. If we show up for business like we mean it then we’ll win, and it’s as simple as that.
Play as we have against other teams and yes, it’s more than possible we’ll leave without a point.
But forget all talk of a “title challenge”; Sevco don’t have it in them and Brendan knows this full well. All the bluster is exactly that, and he delivered the perfect response to it. Not a punishment beating – we’ll leave that for Sunday – but a backhander … and just enough to sting.
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