Ignore the white noise. Block it out. Focus on the fundamentals. Celtic has a cup game this weekend, and should we win it we’re in the semi-final. That puts us on the cusp of winning a treble. We have a six-point lead in the league with a game in hand. That’s a good lead going into the last ten matches. Even if we maintain this stupid run of not winning four games in a row that will probably still be good enough to secure title number seven.
These are the facts of the case, and they are undisputed.
Sevconia is in meltdown over the white-out. They are celebrating adverse weather forcing the postponement of our match with Dundee. They can’t see past this idea they have that they can reduce the “gap” to three points a week on Saturday. If they win. And as if the gap was only about those three points, and not about a multitude of other things.
Their euphoria has overlooked the obvious fact; the Dundee game being called off is probably the best thing that could have happened to us.
Our players go to Ibrox with a little wiggle room, but not enough to be complacent. They go there hearing all this stuff about pressure, but I don’t believe they will feel it. They know what has to be done, as they did against Aberdeen last weekend. When this team is focussed it will beat anyone here, comfortably.
I don’t want our players to go there treating it like just another game.
I want them edgy. I want them hungry. I want them knowing there’s something at stake. Because that might be the problem in a lot of games this season; complacency, the feeling that they were going through the motions and only had to do that in order to win.
I want them to know they will need to fight and scrape and claw for it. I want them in the mood for a battle. Nine points is a safety net; the weather has cut the net away and let these players contemplate the abyss, for the first time since Brendan arrived.
Sevco fans are kidding themselves that this team won’t cope with that kind of pressure; we went through an entire season without losing a domestic game last year. Their own players have no concept of what pressure is, not pressure like that.
The enormity of it seemed to make them stronger instead of weaker.
The idea that our fans are worried over the loss of Mikael Lustig is equally risible. They clearly don’t pay attention; many of us have been calling for the player to be benched for months, so we’re not particularly concerned about his ban.
On top of that, our players get a full week to prepare for the game; that’s what we’ve been crying out for. Had that game been rescheduled for the middle of next week we’d have had no time to rest and work on the parts of our game which will be important going into this one. Our players now have the time to study the opposition better, to concentrate on tactics, to think about how they go about their business. Time to reflect as well as relax.
They will go into Ibrox well rested, energised, motivated and hungry. Why in the Hell are their fans so pleased about that prospect? If I were in their shoes I couldn’t conceive of worse circumstances under which to be facing us.
Maybe they see things in a different way; they believe this “reduce the gap to three points” nonsense and that their cobbled together side – which let’s not forget lost to Hibs just three weeks ago – are suddenly contenders and nothing else gets through to them.
A week tomorrow their stupidity comes into conflict with the reality of a Celtic team that will be raring to go.
The more they believe in this “title challenge” the more that’s going to hurt.
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