I called yesterday for an emphatic League Cup win at Dingwall to lay to rest some of the ghosts of recent weeks. What we got fell a little short of emphatic, especially in a first half that showcased many of the recurring defensive frailties of recent times and heightened further my mounting concerns about Kelvin Wilson and Badr El Kaddouri in particular.
However, a welcome win it was, with glimpses of some light at the end of the tunnel, particularly after the switch that saw Charlie Mulgrew drafted into central defence, his best position by far in my opinion, bringing a calming and assertive influence to an area that has been fraught for far too long. Many of our recent problems have stemmed from that scary insecurity at the back. Close that door effectively and our creative and attacking players can get on with their job without constantly looking over their shoulders.
Okay, that’s not the complete answer … and Charlie has his weaknesses, too; but I believe he can be a fulcrum around which to tackle our most glaring problem and the one whose effective solution would provide the kind of solid platform we need for future optimism.
The magnitude of last night’s victory must be gauged against the dramatic events elsewhere around the country, as well as in the light of the sometimes appalling conditions, the challenging venue and above all, the traumatic underlying history.
All in all, mission accomplished, a job well done and a modicum of dignity restored.
Hail, Hail, Bhoys!