Last night, watching the Hibs game, as Porteous gave away the penalty I was struck by the thought that when November started to fade out as December started fading in, I had started the process of waiting. Waiting for what?
For someone to do us a turn, of course.
Watching Porteous and realising that, I instantly snapped out of it.
Because the very real truth of it is that nobody might do us a favour. Who really wants to? Ross would have enjoyed it, but he’s not going to make his players run through walls for it.
Teams may show up on the day and give everything, but they’ll do it for them, not for us.
Nobody at any of those other clubs has skin in the game when it comes to this title fight, so anything that they do against Ibrox – or against us, perish the thought – will be because they turn up on a given day and for their own reasons decide to battle to the last.
Nobody will do this for us. That is both a grim thought and a somehow liberating one. It stops us from having to sit and watch their games in expectation which invariably ends in disappointment.
The four-point gap might still be there when they come to Parkhead; the important thing is to realise that and to understand what it really means. It means that we have to win every game up until then in the cold belief that they will do the same.
We’re one game into what will be a long, tough month.
But already it is clear that ultimately this is going to come down to what we do rather than what someone else does for us.
That is not as painful a thought as it would have seemed a few weeks ago.
Because I think we’re capable of doing it. If events elsewhere fall our way – and of course they will, at some point, because that’s football – we must be ready to take advantage.
But we have it in us.
If we’re waiting for it we will drop our focus and points as a result.
To realise that is to prepare against it.
Which is why I don’t feel bad today but excited instead for tonight.