The atmosphere around Celtic, I mean just in terms of being a fan, has been curiously flat all month. That started with the closure of the transfer window, of course, but it doesn’t feel as if this is a period in which we’ve won at Ibrox. There’s a just feeling that something isn’t quite right at the moment, and that is affecting every single one of us.
Thankfully, tomorrow returns us to domestic football and this title race, and at a difficult venue where we never have it easy. I believe we’ll win tomorrow and win well. I believe this team has something to prove after midweek, although it ought not to have because I thought we turned in a very good, very tactically disciplined display until we lost two men.
Whatever it is that’s making us feel this way, this flat, we need to shake it off. Because the challenge isn’t in Europe where we’re massively outgunned and need literally everything to go right for us. The real challenge is here at home, harder than it’s been in ages, and I don’t just mean from Ibrox but from clubs up and down the league who think we and the club across the city are vulnerable at the same time and that we’re there for the taking.
But sooner or later someone is going to get a proper going over from us. Sooner or later, the Rodgers changes are going to click, we’re going to hit high gear, and someone is going to lose heavily. I have complete confidence in that. The opportunity for a “statement win” is there. Tomorrow is a potential banana skin game. If we overcome it neither of the Edinburgh clubs will be quite as confident. If we win well they will not want to face us at all.
We need to return two things to the state of play; the optimism amongst the fans that we’re watching something exciting, and the fear factor for the opposition. I am glad we’ve got a tough game tomorrow. I’m glad its against that smirking git Martindale with all his wise cracks and pitiful attempts at psyching us out. I am glad its own that horror of a pitch.
Because all those things will make a win that sweeter. All of them will make a statement win that harder for people to deny. Enough of this black cloud already.
Tomorrow, Celtic, deliver the victory we’ve all been waiting for.