In Spite Of The Moon Howling Elsewhere, For Celtic This Is Just Another Game.

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At 3pm today we’ll kick off against Dundee knowing that no matter what happens elsewhere that if we win we’ll still be sitting at the top of the league, and another game will have been struck off the list and there will be just four to go.

This is being massively hyped away from Celtic Park. Some of the hacks are foaming at the mouth, particularly that wizened, poisonous crank at The Sunday Mail who thinks we’ll struggle to get a point let alone three. Remember his Ibrox prediction? So embarrassing that any reasonable person would have hidden under the bed covers for at least at month.

A lot of the more ridiculous attacks on our club are not new. But there have been more of them in the past week, and more hysteria from across the city as well. This is because of the two cup semi-finals at Hampden, and what I find amusing about the way they are being covered is that we’re getting stick because our opponents showed up and meant business and they are getting praised to the heavens because their opponents did not.

I watched both games, or at least I watched the full Celtic match and 79 minutes of the other one. The games simply could not be compared to one another. In one of them, both sides attacked with vigour and ambition and intent and every loose ball was challenged for. Few players got much time or space to roam freely with the ball.

In the other, one side was tactically incoherent that even when they had players going in with challenges that left opposition footballers in acres of room waiting on just a simple pass. I saw defenders going 40 yards up the park with the ball, with nobody coming to meet them. If you want to understand how poor Hearts were and how ludicrously they approached the game, consider this; Tik-Tok Todd Cantwell won man of the match.

And so because our opponents actually did show up for business and give us a game, suddenly the media is ramping up the pressure and suggesting that we’re too vulnerable to get the job done. In contrast, Hearts’ inexplicable (aye, right) stepping off of the Ibrox club, which allowed them to stroll to an easy victory, has convinced the hacks that they are world beaters again. Don’t forget that the Motherwell win at Ibrox came less than a fortnight after they had stuck five past the same hapless Hearts team under the same “conflicted” manager in the dugout.

The Ibrox club has won two of its last five league games. But we’re supposed to be cowering in fear again because they are talking big about how they aim to win the next five. Well, of course. What else would we expect? Team in second place wants to be first; that’s not exactly an earth-shattering revelation. But we also have Cantwell saying that he personally won’t be that bothered if they don’t. Where are the screaming headlines about that?

For all that, our task is not even slightly complicated. We’re playing against Dundee here, not Barcelona. If we win, that’s three more points and onto the next game. Our next two are at home, in front of our own fans, and if we win those then we will be champions. But today three points is the task and all the white noise from elsewhere can’t change the fact of it.

I think the real pressure is on the team which is about to kick off against St Mirren. I do expect them to win. I expect them to turn up at Celtic Park three points behind us, no more and no less. And then we’ll know what we have to do.

But they know they can’t afford to drop a single point. Not one. And that is the kind of pressure that has crushed them before. We’ll see whether they can stand up to it, and in particular after a week in which they have actually heaped it on themselves.

This is an important day. But only in so much as every game is important as you get to the end of the title race. In truth, it’s about Celtic putting three points on the boards, and it doesn’t matter who else gets points just so long as we accomplish that. All else is noise.

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  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Just let them slabber on. 1 game at a time for us end of.

  • Gerry says:

    Watched their game and it was dire ! They got the result they wanted but it’s basically down to what we do, as it’s always been !

  • Effarr says:

    Celtic today: ATROCIOUS,

  • Gerry says:

    Great 3 pts for us, even though again, we weren’t at our best . One game and win at a time ! I’d think two home wins should be enough to get this title retained ! Bring it on !

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