After Tuesday night, you might feel a slight sting. That’s pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps. Continue to bank Premiership points, mature as a squad and grow the club, because a year from now when we’re kicking it in the Champions League, you’re gonna’ say ‘We’re progressing’.
A week ago I suggested a case could be made that the game at Ross County was our most important before the international break. I know that game has already faded into memory, but argument stands. Champions League football is everything to Celtic – our biggest earner, best way to attract players, the sugar in fans’ tea, we need to be there and we need to improve results when we get there.
We are a significant way off the highs of Gordon Strachan’s Champions League campaigns (yes, some people were always unhappy), and we need to redouble efforts to return to that level, but until then, the importance of winning at the weekend can never be overstated.
Our coefficient monkeys did their best last night to make sure Celtic continue to reach the Champions League in future seasons. Still a lot of work to do before we can assume anything, but fair play to them – every club in the league must do their best for Scotland’s perennial champions.
While Celtic legs and minds will be weary after our humbling in Madrid, Aberdeen flew back from Greece overnight after a respectable draw with POAK, and will travel south tomorrow ahead of their game at Celtic Park on Sunday. Barry Robson is making progress but the international break surely cannot come soon enough for a squad which is far lighter than Celtic’s.
I expect a backlash from Celtic.