Whilst Ibrox picks the scabs off our latest win over them, and whilst its players strut and preen and the manager feels sorry for himself, and whilst many inside the walls wallow in hate and fury, Celtic continues to go about its business, the business of winning games and putting points on the board. Nothing else matters except the next game.
Ange was in a great mood yesterday, giving one of the most fearsome possible responses to questions about whether this squad can continue its relentless pursuit of victories. At a time like this, it would be easy for a winning team to let its guard down but this one never does because this manager is so driven and determined not to let it happen.
“No-one has let any gaps appear in our football, in our squad or in our line-up. Whoever steps in does that needs to be done,” he said of those players who featured at the weekend and who ordinarily might not have.
He hammered back at any suggestion of complacency or of the side taking the foot off the gas. “Why should we?” he asked. “I mean, there are seven games to go so why would we want to waste any one of them? Every game is an opportunity to create some magic and create some moments for our supporters and also the players themselves. We’re not going to waste a day of it, mate. Not until the season is finished. In terms of the league, when we get handed the trophy then we’ll celebrate. But up until that point we’re just going to keep our heads down and keep going.”
Keep our heads down and keep going. Isn’t that amazing? We have such a lead that we could almost literally fall asleep at the wheel and still get home. But he talks about making magic for the fans, and in there is the real driving force behind this team.
Not for us the idea of stamping on a foe, or one-upping our rivals.
This is about us, this is about Ange wanting to win every match for the fans, for us, for ourselves, for the glory and benefit of Celtic and nothing else.
He has said that points and titles and trophies are great but that on their own they aren’t enough because he wants the supporters to take pleasure in watching the team every single time they take to the field … and this side has lived up to that again and again.
It is a warm sentiment. A happy sentiment. But it’s a cold-blooded and ruthless sentiment, for what it portends for our opponents. No letting up. No slacking off. No drop in the standards or in the quality of our play. Just the same drive to win which got us here.
That’s music to our ears as we head in to the home stretch.