When they went a goal behind, St Mirren provided evidence they can play a bit. They never actually made a chance worthy of the name, but they passed with speed and accuracy and forced Celtic’s more advanced players to work back and cover.
New manager, Steve Robinson, bemoaned their luck, “a ricochet” and a ball that “bounced off a face”. Liel Abada may disagree. The breakthrough came after he was pinned to the touchline by three opponents. His control was so precise he broke free and forced a foul that led to the opener. Tight games are so often won by a flash of brilliance from a gifted talent, we have a few in our ranks who can fill that role.
As Jota prepared to take the kick, I said, “It’s pointless sending in a high ball, we have no height.” I promise to repeat this often until the end of the season. What height we have is limited to two central defenders, the absolute entry-level attribute for any team. Good deliveries, though, are hard to defend.
You will have noticed our passing seemed introverted at times. Overhit or inaccurate passes have been a feature of recent games, sapping confidence which inhibits future outcomes. A series of games on poor pitches, including a wintered-looking Celtic Park, has not helped. The Plastic Pasta Pitch on Sunday will be no better, and it’s pointless sending in a high ball, we have no height.