I have some friends over in Germany at the moment, preparing for the Leipzig game. They have travelled across the continent to be there. Some of the journeys they have made are pretty epic. I, myself, have booked for Madrid. My own journey there will be far less chaotic than that which some of my mates have had to endure for this trip.
Right now, they are crowded into a bar watching Liverpool. Based on that first half they are in a pretty good mood although whether that lasts will depend on whether the Anfield team finally puts this Ibrox irritant to the sword. For now, though, these guys are feeling no pain and having a good old time. Amongst them are guys who follow Celtic everywhere.
Those are the guys I’ll be happiest for if we win tomorrow night. Those guys who have been to some many European away games and seen so many dismal performances. I want to see us do it for all of us, of course, but for them most of all. They earned it.
Our away record in this competition is hellish. Only the thumping win against Anderlecht some years back brightens up a copybook with more than its share of black marks, and some of these folks were at every one of those awful Champions League defeats.
Our away form has to improve. Those guys who spend a lot of money following the team have been through too many bad nights and come home with too many footballing hangovers.
Under Ange, it could well be that the days of ritual humiliation are over with … we’ll see. But tomorrow night is massive and as much as I’m looking forward to it, I’m nervous as well. Because it’s not just about three points or not. We believe that this team has made tangible progress and we want to see it realised. And we deserve it.
So I say to my comrades out there, enjoy your night and tomorrow afternoon. Then go and cheer this team of ours to three massive points and a big step into the future.