Nursing a justifiable sense of grievance after Thursday night’s Europa League mugging, it would be all too easy to set our sights on finding a way back into the group and the tournament. Understandable and commendable … but while the pursuit of justice and the restoration of our dwindling European reputation is a tempting prospect, it would be a big mistake to invest so much in that effort that we lose sight of domestic priorities.
As things currently stand on the home front, specifically in the league, there is a very real danger of letting the hare run away from us and gifting our beleaguered city foes relief from their off-field woes that they could never have imagined in their wildest dreams not so very long ago. Unless the Hibs do us an enormous favour this afternoon, we will find ourselves a daunting ten points adrift by teatime today, on the eve of our return to my least favourite Scottish venue (and yes, that DOES include Ibrox).
Maybe it’s just me but over the years, I have always found the atmosphere in Gorgie easily and consistently the most intimidating and unhealthy from a Celtic perspective; and little seems to have changed in the stands with the transfer of ownership to the volatile Romanov empire. It is in the nature of football that crowd hostility, as much as positive backing, transfers itself on to the pitch and to the men wearing the jerseys. So, don’t expect any favours or an easy ride come Sunday, Bhoys.
This could be a pivotal weekend, even this early in the season. I am sure Neil Lennon and his assistants are more keenly aware of that than me – I just hope they get the balance right between the kudos of mounting a credible European run and the necessity of nailing down the bread-and-butter stuff. Lenny’s very future as Celtic manager probably hinges on getting that balance right.
Focus, focus, focus, wee man!
Good Luck, Hibs …
C’mon the Hoops!