The fixture list between now and the end of the Festive Period has been known for a while, but it’s only now that a lot of us have started to seriously study it.
We have one away game, two home games and then Ibrox. They have one at home, two away and then home against us. The crucial thing is that before we go there we’ll play after them three times.
They play on Thursday. We play on Saturday. Then they play on Tuesday and we play on the following night. Then they’re back at it on the Friday and we don’t play until the following day Interesting choice of fixtures.
Why do they play in front of us in the next three games?
A quirk of the fixture list? This has happened already this season and I have to be honest, I’ve stopped wondering.
Only the implications of it are important, and they might be pretty big.
On paper it gives them an opportunity.
A chance to close the gap and put pressure on us.
But this team copes with pressure brilliantly, and in fact what this fixture list might well do instead is put the pressure back onto them again.
Hibs at home, Aberdeen away and Ross County away.
Three tricky fixtures, and in my view they have to win all three of them or they might as well not bother turning up for the January game. It is a danger to us because if we drop something in one of our games after they’ve already won we could go to Ibrox with a much slimmer advantage and if we lost there then it would be game on.
I am sure that this is part of the thinking across town.
But they are the ones under the pressure.
They kick off nine points behind, and they will know that any slip, no matter how small, and we can open the gap further so that by the time we roll into their stadium that it’s virtually unbridgeable … and that it will be by the time we leave that day.
This is their nightmare, and we can make it come true.
Their club remains a mess.
The Mooch is playing the tough guy role right now, and that’s more doable if the manager comes with a famous name or a ton of experience managing footballers. He has neither. His aggressive style, his attempt to dominate, will only cause problems within the dressing room and the club itself.
It might all unravel very quickly, and if it does we have to be ready.
This fixture list looks like it helps them.
In fact, I think it helps us.