Amidst all the comments from Ange last night, one has been lost in the noise.
“We don’t really have the squad to cope with all this yet,” he said, before adding a crucial caveat. “But we will cope.”
I was glad that he said that.
I was pleased to hear him express that faith in the squad, that confidence in what we can do, knowing what has to be done.
For the whole of this campaign so far, the media was pushing the line that we were a one-man team.
They have switched the narrative every so often to change which man in particular that is; when Kyogo was injured it was him. When Jota was injured it was “Oh Celtic are in trouble now.”
Since he dropped out of the side we’ve scored six goals in two difficult games.
Now we’ve lost them both.
Which has some of the press corps in raptures.
“Celtic may cope with losing one, but they won’t cope with losing two.”
They may, perhaps, have missed some hard facts such as that Kyogo didn’t score any of our last six goals and that two of them were scored, against Betis, without he or Jota in the team.
They’ve missed the disallowed goal last night when neither player was on the park and the close thing right at the end with Mikey Johnson.
Bottom line; this Celtic side is capable of pulling defences to pieces without either of them.
This Celtic side has goals in it regardless.
This Celtic side is capable of winning the games ahead of us.
People online throwing their toys out of the pram and conceding the title; get a grip on yourselves.
God, can you imagine how they’d be in a real crisis?
The obvious lament is that we no longer have a fit, recognised striker.
The Record sneered this morning about 4-6-0 formations. Idiots.
They have, perhaps, failed to recognise that one of the best sides in Europe – Manchester City – has been playing, and winning, games for the last two seasons without a recognised striker.
They won the title in the last of them.
I will doubtless hear that it’s comparing apples with oranges; “City have world class players!” will be the lament. Definitely true. But they are achieving that apparently miraculous feat playing against world class players as well.
So really, it’s not that different.
On top of that, I look at the fixture list and ponder it.
We have Hibs twice, once at Hampden and once at home; they will represent the test.
Aside from that, we have Ross County, St Johnstone and St Mirren away in the league. None of those games exactly chills me to the bone. We should have enough about us to win those matches.
The one that looms for some people is 2 January.
But a lot can happen before then and it’s pointless worrying about that at the moment. Kyogo is probably out of that one. But Jota will almost certainly make it barring a disaster and Giakoumakis cannot be as far away as all that.
We can either panic – which does nobody any good – or we can adapt.
We’re in this situation.
Some people seem to want to throw the towel in and chuck it.
I am glad none of them is the Celtic manager; he at least recognises that we have to solider on and fight through the issues. These games have to be navigated. Now he will turn his attention to how.
The important thing is that Ange believes that we can.