Kennedy Slaps Back At The Questioning As All At Celtic Embrace The Task Ahead.

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Amongst the pleasing things about yesterday, as we came out of the game, was the performance of John Kennedy, who handled the media better than I’ve ever heard him do it, with sass and wit and intelligence. He didn’t allow a thing to get past him.

When the Sky reporter tried to get him onto the subject of our lack of shutouts he shot back archly; “It’s always nice when you focus on the negatives.” That would have rocked them back on their heels. Under Ange they’d have been flinching before the words had fully fused with his brain cells, and if he’d opened with “Mate …” there’d have been little doubt what was coming. Rodgers is now at the point where his contempt radiates off him.

But Kennedy has always been friendly and open with these people, even a little deferential. Nobody at Celtic is in any mood for that at the moment. The sense of a club that has been under siege since the season kicked off has hardened to the point where it’s more like an article of faith. Everyone inside the club gets it, and acts accordingly.

This is a club now fully focussed. For the first time this season, it seems to me.

On the pitch, at least, we now look like a club which knows what the priorities are from now until this campaign ends; win every game, secure every point, get the two trophies that are left to us and then take all the good that it generates into the next campaign, stronger than ever. We’ve left it late to get our act together, but here we are at last.

The performance yesterday was really good. Even at half time, when we’d only registered one shot on target, I thought that the football was quite brilliant at times. The passing, the movement, the link-ups, it was all there, all the stuff we’d hoped to see. We had more than 70% first half possession, so although we hadn’t scored, we did not look like losing one.

I think we all knew a goal was coming. When it did, yeah it was fortuitous in a sense but as my mate said to me, “You make your own luck.” We kept on doing the right things, we kept on putting the ball in their box, and especially once we started to play it more on the ground instead of launching it high. From that moment on, there was little doubt.

To have gotten three was excellent. To see two of our midfielders get on the scoresheet was great. Kyogo should have gotten at least one; his intelligence was there for everyone to see, in full. Maeda was aggressive and ran them ragged. But all eyes were on their Japanese partner in crime, Hatate, who played as if he’d never been away.

Kennedy sent a clear message about the overall performances of late.

“We’ve scored 17 goals out-with the Hearts game, we’ve scored three today so it’s good,” he said. “Our defensive game is always important; we know that gives us momentum as well. Sometimes games have been less comfortable because we have not defended moments right. I think we have had interruptions there, we’ve had several injuries, changes in games which doesn’t help that side of it. Today we were strong at the back, I don’t even know if Livingston even had a corner.”

That was his reaction to the questioning on Sky. It was on the BBC where he got the soundbite of the day, and sent a big message from the whole of the club.

“I’m not just saying this, it’s probably the calmest place in Scotland, inside our training ground,” he told them. “We know it’s about the sessions we do and the preparation we put in. The reality is we just have to take each day as it comes and make sure we prepare properly … For us, it’s about keeping calm, controlling what we can control which is the training and then when next weekend comes, we’ll deal with that.”

And so say all of us. This is a Celtic side tuned right in and focussed on the job.

It’s taken the whole of the season, but we’re finally in the headspace we wanted to be, and with our top stars all back, fit, and raring to go. All but the captain, and the news is promising on that front too. I fully expect him to be ready, and if he is, we’re perfectly positioned to win.

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  • Kevan McKeown says:

    If we have all our players available would agree, we’re well capable of gettin a result. Tho as always, would never predict. Will say, ah definitely feel a lot better about goin intae this one, than ah did about 3-4 weeks ago. Who wouldnae ?!

  • Anthony Larsson says:

    Great article. Hail Hail

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Aye well – it’s creeping up to that day of reckoning at The Bastion of Brit Bigotry…

    Whose place would I rather be in then – ours or theirs ?

    Obviously theirs (home game, no visiting fans, – though we have the return serve to play on them – Cheats with Whistles, Flags and Moniters in place)…

    Plus they have the game in hand – (rigged to suit them as per always – of course)…

    But it’s still in our hands as it stands…

    Let’s make sure it’s still that way come 3pm on Sunday –

    But for a good bit of it, I think I’ll be behind the couch…

    Which is absolutely appalling given where we were at the end of November !

  • Gordon Raeburn says:

    I hope that Cal Mac is back for Sunday but if not fully fit don’t play him. Also I look forward to 50,000 arrests at Ibrox on Sunday under the new hate crime act !!

  • John Copeland says:

    That was an entire week’s worth of negative actions and stories from the SMSM against Celtic FC in the lead up to the Glasgow derby ,right there …Sky Sports – the SS- the initiator in chief for all its pals in Scotland’s media platforms . Next up today was the Daily Record with a big wrestler guy growling out how the Rangers are going to destroy Celtic in the derby . Quickly followed by the rag’s alleged chief sports scoop who insinuates in his column that the Rangers are going to be too hard to beat .. what’s new ? In that bastion of all things blue ,white and red – the Scottish Sun – has ex Celtic player Oli Burke being classed as one of the worst at something or other , presumably to make it’s dwindling readers chuckle . The BBC will no doubt have their own way of promoting everything in downtown Ibrox this week ..can’t wait for that . Best thing is to take a trip to the moon ,then arrive aback an hour before kick off ?

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      Life is so beautiful and stress free when one doesn’t watch the ‘news’ (Brit lies propaganda) the last time that I looked four years ago and even then it was only periodically at that…

      Life is also beautiful and stress free when one doesn’t buy or pay a penny towards The Scummy Scottish Football Media and that sensational pleasurable feeling that one is contributing to their death and demise just like their beloved Rangers met the same fate coming down the pipe to them…

      Life is also beautiful listening in to The Scummy Scottish Football Media Radio Shows for the most awesome schadenfreude when Celtic beat Sevco…

      Here’s hoping that I’m listening in on Sunday tanning the best part of a bottle of malt whisky before hitting the pubs !!!

    • Kevan McKeown says:

      @ JC. Same every derby game. Tho that’s whit makes it even better for us if we get a result and a whole lot harder for them tae take. It’s their own hype and over confidence that comes back and kicks them in the arse every time. They never learn.

  • michael mccormack says:

    Police Scotland better be prepared , if Celtic are a couple of goals ahead with 10 minutes to play the hordes will invade the pitch .

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