In just over a fortnight, we will play our next SPFL match, against Aberdeen away. Prior to that game, we will take the field in a friendly match, against Rennes, in Portugal, a game that has been organised in a hurry, to bring the players back up to speed.
I see the logic in it, or at least part of the logic. But do we really need this? Wouldn’t it be more beneficial, having played in Australia and now that everyone is back in training, to give the players a little rest and recuperation period before we kick off again?
I know that the worry is about players getting rusty, and us wanting to make sure that they stay up to speed. The strategy is completely understandable.
But doesn’t it present a level of risk that we just don’t need? Doesn’t it expose our players, and completely un-necessarily, to the possibility of injuries with the second part of the campaign looming in front of us and a lot of games to get through?
I am not going to second guess the boss on this, because he knows what’s needed here and what’s not and I would not imagine that this was organised unless he was entirely comfortable with it. But there’s a lot hinging on the next few weeks and months, and that grip on the top spot and that nine point lead has to be tighter than ever.
I would prefer we were not putting our players in harms way by playing what seems to be an un-necessary additional game. But a four week break from any football at all could also constitute a risk of its own, and increase the likelihood of people picking up strains.
I do trust that all involved at the club have thought this through.
I just hope that it goes off without a hitch.