As regular readers will know, I thought the manager was excellent yesterday after the game. His brutal slap-down of the journalists when he quipped about “I thought the league race was over” must have felt really, really good to deliver.
But he said a lot more than that when he spoke to the media, of course. He laid out his belief that this team, which has started to find its rhythm now, is only going to keep on improving. That’s a warning to the rest of this league that they ain’t seen nothing yet.
“We are just beginning,” he told the hacks.
“Whatever we are doing now, I know we will be better moving forward. We are just beginning to see the foundation of what we are trying to build. That doesn’t excuse us not winning games of football and not being in a better position and the mistakes we have made. But that for me is the reality. I know that we will be a much better team as the season goes on and players get even more understanding and belief in what we are trying to do.”
If I were at Ibrox listening to that, I would be afraid.
It is their side which is lumbering along right now and ours which looks as if it’s starting to hit its stride.
We have players to come back into the team, like Forrest and Jullien, two guys who are arguably starting eleven footballers. Others are coming up to full fitness. We have more who are still adapting to the system and style of play.
And we’ve broken that away match hoodoo. You saw the difference between yesterday and a fortnight ago; the psychological weight of that has gone now and we were able to progress up through the gears in a straightforward manner because of it.
This team will only improve. All the signs are there that we’re moving in the right direction, and there is the promise of the squad being improved in just a few months.
It won’t be long before there’s no longer any debate about whether we can mount a title challenge and instead a grim acceptance by our rivals and enemies that they are already in one and that Ange and this team are in it to win it.