When someone is trying to rile you, you know how to deal with it?
Don’t get riled.
Think of it as Sevco fans trying to dissuade us from shining a big light on their club.
They level the pitiful “obsessed” accusation at us. I know some of our fans do get riled by that, but those it’s being thrown at don’t mind it one bit. It’s so school-yard level, and besides … we know it’s designed to make us feel a certain way, and we don’t.
Scott Brown knows the value of psychological tactics. He spoke to the media the other day and said that he thinks our team got “in the heads” of the Sevco players after our recent win at Ibrox. He’s right of course, and everyone knows he is. The pressure they are under over there is pressure they put on themselves. The lack of professionalism at Ibrox is clear for all to see. The cheering when the cup draw was made was proof of it.
That’s down to the manager.
He should never have let a couple of wins and laudatory media coverage go to their heads.
He should have kept them grounded, focussed on doing the job, winning one game at a time … the next one. Not one weeks away. And in the interim they’ve dropped points all over the shop. They look, once again, like the shambles they are.
Murty is bad at the whole psychological warfare thing. He hypes his team up to be more than they are and they suffer the inevitable collapse in confidence when they don’t measure up. More than that, he is easily rattled and prickly by nature.
I knew when I read Brown’s comments that they would get under Murty’s skin and they did. More to the point, Brown knew when he made them what the result would be, and that’s exactly why he did it. If that doesn’t prove we’re in their heads nothing will.
“Scott (Brown) says lots of things he believes are true,” Murty said, and you have to wonder what he means by that. So far, Brown has had quite a good grip on reality. It’s other people, like Murty himself, who continue to cling to delusions.
“I believe the gap has closed demonstrably,” he said, revealing one of them. “And we have to make sure the next step we take is going and winning a game because when that happens it will kick our belief to another level. I said to the guys this is the big one for us. If you’re going to win the Cup you have to beat Celtic and it just happens we’re meeting at this stage of the competition.”
See, this is part of the nonsense.
Do you think Brendan Rodgers told his players, months ago, that if they wanted to win the cup they were going to have to beat Sevco? Of course not. To us they were just another side, just another potential obstacle on the road. Brendan would have told his players that if they wanted to win the cup they would have to beat whoever they got in the draw in any particular round; Sevco has spent the whole season thinking about a game that might never have been.
If you want to talk about obsession – real obsession – look at the way that club constantly acts and talks in relation to us. One of the reasons for their lousy form over the past year is that their every thought is about “catching Celtic”; they forgot there are ten other teams in the league who they have to beat consistently to manage that.
That club is consumed by what goes on at Celtic Park.
We are the only thing they see.
Their belief that they are “closing the gap” is toxic to them.
When Brown says we’re inside their heads he’s right, but it’s because we’ve always been there … and they have no idea how to effect a cure.
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