In Spite Of Our Derby Defeat, All The Enthusiasm Is With Celtic Fans This Weekend.

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When Hugh Keevins was foaming at mouth earlier in the campaign, he predicted that Celtic fans would tolerate Ange Postecoglou until Ibrox, at which point – if we lost – the support would be ready to storm Celtic Park and all social media would be aflame.

What a shock he and others must have got as the reaction to the defeat was a muted shrug, and most people accepting that the game came a little early.

So much of the work on this team remained undone. Too many players were still finding their feet.

One of the crucial things here was that our fans, as a whole, rejected the nonsensical assertion that we had faced some kind of B team.

They were short about the same number of players as we were on the day.

An analysis of the stats shows that the match could have gone either way.

We missed a couple of gilt-edged chances which on another day we’d have taken.

Nor are most fans buying into this “away day” record nonsense either.

None of us is interested in what happened last season, under lesser men in the dugout.

The defeat against Hearts was another game we ought to have won. The stats don’t tell the full story of our terrible “away record.”

Most of it has been rendered irrelevant by the changes at our club.

Celtic is in a much better place than the league table suggests.

Our squad is now settled with the want-away players largely removed from the place. Over £20 million has been spent on this team and we’ve strengthened the critical areas, all but midfield where I still think we’re a little short.

The task in front of us is not easy, but we no longer look toothless or scared.

On top of that, the club across town doesn’t resemble the towering colossus we’re all told that it is.

There is a shakiness to them which is ripe for exploitation and other clubs will fancy their chances.

You look around at the rest of the league and some of these teams in it are much stronger than they were last season. I think it’s good that none has been significantly weakened, and that could easily have happened especially at Hibs and St Johnstone.

Tomorrow when Ange talks to the press we’ll find out what the status of the squad is.

I expect most of our top talents to be available to him. The week ahead of us is going to be very difficult, with the home game launching us into away games at Betis and then at Livingston. Believe me, I am looking forward to us going there. We’re due a big win there.

It’s next month that will define this team; away games at Aberdeen, Hibs and Motherwell. St Johnstone and Livingston at home … with European games in between. The fixture list is brutal at this time of year, but next month will really push us.

And yet I think all of us are looking forward to it. I think all of us eagerly await those games. If we can stay free of injuries, we can be very confident.

There are no further distractions for us. The transfer window is shut and there are no international breaks on our horizon. It’s just Celtic games, one after the other, for the next few months. I am looking forward to every single one of them.

Starting with the one at the weekend.

We have new players to look forward to, the team selection to argue over and then the game itself to enjoy.

It’s going to be great.

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