All these guys have been handed a fresh start by this manager.
They must seize it.
The eyes of our supporters will be on a couple in particular; Barkas and Ajeti.
They were the big money men, brought in last season for large sums, and expected to hit the ground running.
Neither of them did.
The real problem is that Lennon threw them both under the bus the moment the pressure was on him and on them.
Neither recovered from it.
Ange has shown faith in them. He is a different type of manager.
He will afford each player an opportunity.
There is a tendency, always, to treat pre-season games as if they are unimportant.
I have done that for years. I rarely even watch them.
But I will be watching these, I will be paying attention to everything that happens in them.
If we see the same listless, tired, can’t-be-arsed football we saw last season then fans will get antsy quickly. If we see more verve and passion and a new team spirit, fans will keep their happy thoughts a while longer.
Ultimately, we’re 14 days from our first competitive game.
Although I do expect signings this week, it might well be up to the “fringe players” to steer us through this, as ridiculous as that sounds, and as deplorable as that would be. Go through against Copenhagen and we have guaranteed group stage football.
It gives us an outside chance at still making it to the promised land of the Champions League Groups themselves.
So the big chance for some of these guys is coming now, presumably whilst work goes on behind the scenes.
Tomorrow, all eyes will be on how they handle it.
Last night I was happy to spend some time with the Endless Celts podcast guys. You can check it out below.