I like Scott Brown and Leigh Griffiths’ reactions to our recent adversity. It says a lot about them. They both personalise responsibility for what happens next, this is an important part of recovery – and success.
A week ago I wrote that the League Cup semi against Ross County was the biggest game in the rest of our season, and that it wasn’t a game I’d bet on. It provided the toxicity cup football can generate, creating a crisis mentality which rolled into Aberdeen on Wednesday.
This psychological phenomenon has to end now. Feel free to put a date in June in the diary to get back to it. We are in a genuine league title contest, something you and I talked about as a great thing for Scottish football not so long ago. We have no God given right to be miles ahead of anyone. We are here because we’ve made mistakes and an opponent stepped up. Welcome to Celtic.
If you want to open an inquest when the patient catches a cold, knock yourself out, but I’m not up for it. If we want this title, we circle the wagons and give the manager and players the encouragement they need to get the job done (and, erm, that includes you, ‘Phyllis’). You can be sure Aberdeen fans will do nothing less.
Tomorrow the focus switches to Perth, where Aberdeen take on St Johnstone. They won their first 8 league games this season, but the wheels came off the tractor immediately after their most important victory away from home – at Tynecastle. Next up was a League Cup game against Hibs, the loss of which plunged them into a five-week chasm.
They are a team who get notoriously nervous just when they begin to think they are in with a chance. We’ll see what Tommy Wright does with them tomorrow.
Enjoy your football. Enjoy this league race, the challenge and the disappointments. Enjoy that thrill when a goal goes against Aberdeen, or the downer when they score. It will make the finale all the more rewarding, I promise you.