The moment I saw Lennon was bringing on Jonny Hayes I thought “it’s going to be one of those days again.”
Let me be clear what I mean by that.
Hayes wasn’t bad and I never expected him to be. He’s a Lennon favourite, but one I’ve gradually warmed to.
A goal at Ibrox never does any harm, but in truth I accept I was pretty harsh on that guy last season.
But I knew that if we dropped points that it would be used to beat the manager relentlessly.
Then he took off Edouard for Bayo, a decision that it’s readily apparent was going to be used against him.
The truth is, though, I couldn’t find fault with that either.
Bayo will miss the Cluj match, as he’s banned. Edouard is likely to be our only fit striker. On a day when tempers were getting a little frayed it was a reasonable substitution. We ended the game with Sinclair, Forrest, Bayo and Christie on the pitch.
There were goals there if we’d got opportunities, but they were always going to be hard to come by against a packed defence.
So the manager prioritised a little. I see no problem with that. He realises we’ve got a long domestic campaign in front of us and that days like today will happen … and they will definitely happen to the other lot across the city.
Do not read too much into them slapping Aberdeen all over the map; anyone who laboured under the assumption that McInnes could take something from that didn’t see them in midweek where they went out of the cup on penalties to the worst Hearts side in living memory.
I am not, as some people have already said, “underestimating” Sevco. Don’t ever get that idea. No, having watched them a few times this season and having seen most of their dire display in midweek I am writing them out of the reckoning entirely.
They have neither the quality nor the mental fortitude to put together the kind of run that champions need.
And we do. And we shouldn’t forget that.
This was our best start to a league campaign in over a decade, so I’m certainly not going to get worked up over a single result.
I was hypercritical after Cluj at home, because that night the manager did make huge errors, in a game of enormous consequence, and we paid a huge price for them. But today is a league game which come flag day will have no bearing on the title at all.
We remain one-point clear at the top of the SPL and whilst it would have been nice to keep the three-point lead or even extend it there will be other chances to do it.
Lennon did not get this wrong today; it was one of those days, and whilst we don’t want to see too many of them it’s the first time in the domestic campaign where we’ve had one.
It won’t be the last either, by the way.
Talk of us winning another Treble unbeaten is for the birds, that’s definitely not going to happen, although the Treble itself still looks a good bet from where I’m sitting.
But we’ll drop more points. We will lose games.
But we will not lose this title, not on days like today.
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