Last night we won and looked very good.
It was like watching the Celtic of previous years instead of the arthritic version we’ve seen creaking across football pitches so far in this campaign.
It was a very welcome change, but we have to remind ourselves that not much really did change.
We caught a glimpse of some positives, but that’s all it was.
Neil Lennon, who, let’s be honest, didn’t get carried away during our defeats, wasn’t about to get over-excited by one victory either. He called last night “baby steps” and he was right to do so. Just as it was crazy for so many people to be going over the top about what they thought they saw against Milan, we shouldn’t read too much into last night.
Yet it was definitely better. There were signs of improvement.
Much of that was to do with the new players who were introduced to the team.
If they continue playing, we should see a continuing improvement.
If Lennon reverts back to the “tried and tested” then this could be another long weekend with the AGM on Monday.
For all that, we can’t underestimate this result either. Lille came to Celtic Park very confident that they could extend this bad run of ours, and they were hoping to top the group. They are a very good team, technically gifted, capable and not afraid of anyone.
So it was a very good win, and a much needed lift to everyone. We should be pleased about it.
Ultimately though, it means nothing more than a few co-efficient points, a little prize money in the bank and a sign of how badly we sold ourselves short in the course of these games. Had we been able to beat Sparta home and away instead of having them rout us, we would have been one of the teams to go through last night.
The weekend’s game is of vastly more importance. The result there is everything.
Lennon’s position has not been radically changed by last night, and that’s a decision the club itself took when it pretty much said that he was staying in post come what may.
Nevertheless, after a bad period a win is as welcome as it’s ever been … and we can look forward to Sunday a little more than we would have had that last night ended in disaster.