There are two ways for a team to come out of a rough spell, and before I go on let me tell you that “rough spell” is a relative term. We are top of the league. We have lost one league game in the last 40 odd matches. This side is still doing the business and has a chance to go through in the Champions League if we can win our games at home.
But we are stuttering at the moment, and until the 95th minute today I would have said that there we looked vulnerable, and effectively there for the taking.
The psychological blow of losing that late goal could have shattered the morale of this team completely. We’ve seen that happen. Players who have given everything in a match and fail to hang on until the end can quit. With how we’ve looked recently, not one person would have been terribly surprised had we done that and chucked it.
The first way out of a spell like this is a “statement” victory, something that shreds the opposition and demonstrates your power. The other way is this. To show that in fact you aren’t weak and vulnerable and there for the taking at all. A reminder to the rest of the clubs in the league – and a reminder to yourselves – of what you can do.
This team needed to remember that it’s made up of winners. It needed to remember that it has the quality to put any side in this country to the sword. This team needed to remember what made it champions last season. The celebrations said it all; it’s like a pressure valve was turned, not just amongst the players but in the stands too.
This is not the way we’d have chosen to end a stuttering run. But by God, it is a sweet one. By God it is a good one. By God, this is how it feels to be Celtic.
This side can drop the bag of bricks now. They’ve remembered who they are. I think we’ll see things getting a whole lot better in the next few weeks.