Celtic’s recent record at Easter Road is absolutely appalling. There is no other word for it. When you consider that we haven’t won there in the league since 2014 that paints a dire picture, even when you account for the couple of seasons Hibs weren’t in the SPFL.
It runs back seven games. Which doesn’t seem as many as the year would suggest, but is still a heavy weight on our club’s back. We badly need to start breaking these bad runs, and having now got the away victory issue put to bed this is what we must focus on next.
That run encompasses three different managerial regimes. Easter Road almost seems like a cursed ground for us. But nobody at Celtic believes that, and the important thing is that we go there without letting the record bother us. It’s another thing for this Celtic team to achieve, another hoodoo to lay to rest, another demon to slay.
Hibs are not in good form. They have wobbled a bit since leaving Ibrox amidst the furore of that Porteous red card. I thought it was shocking the way the manager failed to stand up for him, and I would not be surprised if that had caused some problems in the dressing room as some of the rumours suggest. That’s a problem they have which we can exploit.
The spirit around Celtic Park is good right now. The last few games have shown a steady, but obvious, improvement in the team. The manager’s ideas are getting across and the players are beginning to implement them in the correct way. We couldn’t ask for better circumstances under which to be going into this game, so there should be confidence throughout the team.
Yesterday the manager praised the defence; we have the best one in the league. Although we’re facing decent players tonight, the sort who can hurt you if you give them a chance, we have good players of our own and as the home team can they really afford to sit in for the 90 minutes? If they do that then I think they might as well not show up at all.
A win tonight will be another big step forward for Ange’s team. Anything less and the media will paint it as a disaster, as the roof falling in, as the start of the slide. They are predictable. On the other hand, some of them have already revised their early season predictions and pronounced us title challengers after all. Well, of course we are and always were.
Win tonight though, and do it comfortably, and all the rest of them will have to admit the same. All will have to admit that we have the momentum on our side.