After the adrenaline-fuelled dramas that a return to the Champions League after five long years provided, Celtic are off to Paisley on Sunday. There will be an inevitable drop-off in in energy levels, the players are not machines, after all, as we take on an opponent with more robust objective from the game.
While Celtic have four days to recover and prepare, St Mirren will be 15 days without a game when they take on the champions. During this period, they will have been able to do some endurance training and get plenty rest before what will be a committed 90 minutes’ effort. They will not be easy to overcome.
Whatever motivational chat Ange Postecoglou gives before a game, it cannot always have the same intensity. I expect he fully animated the players for the games against Real and Shakhtar, but words overused lose their affect. Can he really whip them up for St Mirren? I doubt it, in fact, I don’t even think he should.
Our baseline performance must be substantial enough to pick the points in Paisley. The next big emotional effort is three weeks away, save the inspiration for then. One more push before the break.