We’re heading for the split now at high speed.
As we go into tonight’s game we have eight league matches left.
We’re now out of the woods, but they’re split an even four-four between home and away fixtures. A plain text reading of that suggests that things just got a whole lot easier, but did they really? Because look at who we’re playing away.
It’s Aberdeen, Livingston, Sevco and Hibs … all coming up soon.
The circle closes on 4 April at Easter Road.
These games all look difficult, but that’s only because we’ve dropped points at two of these venues already. We won at Ibrox and Pittodrie … had it not been for our poor form at home and in the cup final, most would be confident of us going to SevcoLand and coming back with another three points.
As it stands, that’s the one that makes me most nervous.
Hibs and Livingston … there’s no reason to think we can’t, and won’t, beat both regardless of where the games are being played. Pittodrie is forever tricky. Ibrox is one of those games that is impossible to call. If we turn up, we’ll win. The “if” word is where the pressure is.
We have a seven-point cushion, albeit the Ibrox club has a game in hand … that gives us an advantage, but it’s only a small one. We can afford a slip … but only one and then we pretty much have to make good on the rest of the games.
We now have 13 games left.
We won’t know what the actual home-away separation is until after the split, but in recent years we’ve had our flag day party with room to spare and I expect us to do so again. The coming weeks and months will tell the tale, of course, but it would be surprising to me if we didn’t have it wrapped up with a couple of matches left to play.
Frankly, this is it. If we get through the next eight games, you can tie the green ribbons onto the trophy.
That’s how important these games are, starting with the one tonight.
Hearts will give us a game, perhaps a better one than they have in a while, so we’ll have to be on our toes. Lennon may field two up front or stick with the 4-2-3-1 … either way, three points are everything. It would be a nightmare to win all our games on the road just to slip up at home.