One of the recurring themes of this season so far is “where do the Ibrox club look like dropping points?”
You would think, to hear it, that they had a 100% record in this campaign. But they don’t.
They’ve dropped points twice already and will do so again. They will even lose games.
Forget all this talk of them doing an Invincible campaign; there’s a reason ours is such a big deal. They are not only rare, they are almost un-heard of.
I have never worried that the Ibrox club was untouchable. I worry that a Lennon run Celtic team is not the team that is going to catch them.
In a race like this you worry about your own club first and you wait for the opposition to slip.
When we were winning at the start of this campaign they were feeling the pressure and dropped points twice; it’s easy to put together a winning run like they are when you don’t have someone breathing down your neck.
If we win our games in hand – a big ask under this manager – the gap is seven points.
It was Gordon Strachan who once said that the trick is to chip away at a lead a little bit at a time; he overcame a much bigger gap when he snatched his third title in a row from the grasping paws of an Ibrox club. It helped that they were playing a lot of games.
Which, oddly enough, is where we might be headed.
The Ibrox club is facing an unusual scenario for them; the prospect of playing many more games in the second half of the season than we will. They are guaranteed two European games minimum … you wouldn’t bet against them having more. They have a possible three rounds in the League Cup if you assume they’ll get to the final. That’s five extra games right off the bat … and this is before injuries, suspensions and the possibility that the virus still has a card or two to play in this title race.
It’s not impossible. A fixture pile-up gave Strachan his window, and he turned it around, a combination of us finding our form, their players suddenly feeling under pressure and theirs being physically and mentally exhausted. These are the things we should be looking for.
All of it depends, of course, on our manager being able to put that pressure on by going on a winning run.
Had we acted sooner we might already be on one.
As it is, we’re still standing at the starting gate waiting for the gun to go off.
There’s an opportunity here … if we are good enough to take it when it comes.
Because it will.
We just need to be better placed for that than we are now.