I looked up at the clock, 80 minutes. The closing moments would hold a disproportionate weight on our season. After a couple of early chances, Motherwell did not cause Joe Hart any difficulty, but Celtic, unable to retain possession, could do no more than clear their lines and wait for the next wave of attack as yesterday’s games closed.
Winning leagues is all about getting the job done, not being a hard luck story. Celtic, without a striker throughout the game, and weakened further through injury during it, won the three points, our fourth single goal victory in five league outings. That freewheeling performance at Tannadice a week ago was the exception.
There is a hidden problem when games are so tight; players need to compete to the last kick. This will drain energy further for a squad, with all the European games, internationals and unmatched ability to reach cup finals, already plays more football than any other in the game. Limbs and minds are taxed.
My worry is not for the big games. Adrenaline will pump in bucketfuls at Hampden and against Newco. Not so much at Dingwall, Paisley or Perth.
As for the Europa Conference draw: anyone but Tottenham, please. They were in the Champions League Final two years ago and have not slipped into obscurity that quickly.