It’s almost kick off time and as I said earlier on, I hope for a big performance, a statement performance. But really, I’d settle for the narrowest win with a shot that comes off the referee’s backside and bounces into the net.
Because it’s simple; as long as we don’t almost literally fall asleep on the line the likelihood is that the gap will only grow.
I don’t want to ring my bell here, but I said at the start of the campaign that we would win the title by a double-digit margin. We’ve almost got that lead. Even with it, there are no guarantees that we actually will … but I really fancy our chances, and in particular because you look across the city and see that they aren’t very good over there.
As good as they all feel about last night, they know they’re not in good nick and they must look across here with a deep sense of foreboding.
We have a strong lead. We have the stronger squad. A club in our position might be tempted to take the foot off the pedal a little … we’re pushing down on it harder, and that’s new and scary because this is the point where a Celtic revolution usually starts to unravel.
Have we learned something important?
I think so. Maybe.
We’re acting like it right now, and that’s good to see. We have a manager who knows his stuff and has a tight grip on the controls, and that’s better than good because as long as he does we’re not going to do either of the two stupid things that might give Ibrox a sniff; stop moving forward or, God forbid, actually move backwards.
As long as we are progressing, we will be good enough to stay ahead of the chasing pack. As long as this club is not complacent or arrogant enough to think that it can stand still and still maintain an advantage – a mistake we made consistently under Lawwell – the road ahead is clear, our rivals are all behind us, and all will be right in the world.
Tonight we’ve named a strong team. We are a strong, focussed club.
The game has not changed.
It’s catch me if you can … and as long as we’re running nobody will.
CELTIC XI: Hart, Ralston, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Taylor, McGregor, O’Riley, Hatate, Abada, Jota, Kyogo.
Subs: Siegrist, Jenz, Giakoumakis, Haksabanovic, Mooy, Turnbull, Maeda, Bernabei, Forrest.