As I said earlier, we went into that one tonight with the luxury of not having to get a result.
It let us experiment. It allowed us to rest people. It allowed us to make it an exercise in getting players who had been out for a while back up to speed.
It also allowed us to give debuts to two of our kids. That will never be frowned upon by Celtic fans.
It was a worthwhile evening, if not a great result. BT Sport’s commentary team can bleat all they want about the co-efficient – no team has done more to build it than we have, so they can shut it as far I’m concerned – because we had other considerations tonight.
This Europa League campaign has been a huge success.
So much so that a defeat in the final Group game has done us no harm at all. Four wins and a draw were secured before kick-off. A lot of money was banked. Our credibility was done the power of good. No-one outside or inside Celtic Park took seriously a game where we made nine changes prior to kick-off.
So what did we learn from that?
Not much that we didn’t already know.
Young Morgan is a trier but he needs … something.
He’s not the player we need him to be yet.
We learned that Sinclair does not fit into a Neil Lennon team where part of the job is to run all night long; look at Mikey Johnson and the shift he put in before being subbed.
We learned that we’re a better team with Jullien marshalling the defence.
We learned that Griffiths gives us more the fitter he gets.
We saw young Celts getting into the side; the boy Robertson played for the first time, and Karamoko Dembele came on in the second half.
They augmented a team that already had Mikey Johnson in it, and he played well too.
We got Bayo back into the team after injury. Bolingoli played the match. Griffiths got the full game.
The signs are good; we’re getting everyone back to full fitness. That will stand us good for the rest of this month and into January.
This was great squad management; this is what games like this are for.
No the result wasn’t great and the performance wasn’t tip-top, but this game meant nothing except a few more quid in the bank and we’re not short of a few bob. There was no need for anyone to run through walls for this tonight.
It was about getting players back up to speed, giving others a rest and about easing in the next generation.
In that regard, it was job done.
You can’t ask for more from a Europa League group than this.
We’ve finished top, we’ve restored part of our rep on the continent and we’ll be in the next round as group winning seeds.
All in all, that’s pretty damned fine.
Our cup win yesterday continues our utter dominance of the hapless Ibrox NewCo … but how well do you know the history of our successes over them? Try our new quiz and find out. You can click this link or on the first question above ..