On Sunday we go to Livingston, and coming out of the game on Wednesday night I said to my mate that we cannot go there and try to play tippy-tappy slow build up football against that packed defence or theirs or we will endure a horrible afternoon.
We can’t afford for the game on Sunday to turn into a grind.
That ground is frustrating at the best of times. If we don’t score early it’s going to be a long afternoon.
Of course, if we do score early then the ball is up on the slates for Martindale and their disgustingly negative football is already a bust. So we need to push, and push hard, for that quick goal.
If we get sucked into a grind and we try that simple passing and crosses into a packed penalty area style we will not win the game.
We will drop two points at the very least.
This team knows how we play and we know how they play.
They will not adapt, and why should they?
They know their system works. We know ours does not.
We are the ones who are going to have to change.
I know Ange doesn’t like to do that.
I know, in fact, that he loathes the very idea. But we can either learn and adapt or pay for not doing so.
The best thing he can do is play a slightly different style. Ditch the boring, side-to-side football we’ve seen and get more direct. It may be ugly but sometimes you have to win ugly. Our opponents know that.
We need to run at that defence.
Get the ball on the deck and give those defenders the chance to make tackles.
Make them afraid.
We have the footballers to do it; Abada and Jota and Hatate. These guys can terrorise their defence. If we’re going to play the ball out wide, do so and draw their players out and get others running into space for the killer pass.
But on no account must we resort to wasteful crosses which will bounce off their defenders.
The team needs to play as one functioning unit.
Every mistake the opposition makes – however minor – has to be punished.
Our players need to concentrate, fully, at all times.
In short, everything needs to be done quicker and instead of crossing the ball our wide players need to move with it at their feet.
Anything else, and we’re in trouble.
On the other hand, if we do score quickly you watch them panic.
If they realise that they will have to venture up the park our job of opening up space will be much easier.
I really think we need to. The fans will be buoyed, their player’s morale will take a hit and they will have to ditch the grotesquely negative football. Do it right and we’ll win comfortably.
Any victory, no matter how it is achieved, will be a major result.
This is the one where we’re expected to slip.
If we win this, watch what it does to morale elsewhere, especially if the Ibrox club struggles the day before.