After the demolition of Hibernian in the first half last week, Celtic struggled in the second half and in the latter games against St.Mirren and St.Johnstone to score goals. The media looked upon the games as Celtic stuttering along, fearful of dropping valuable points at the top of the table. We even had the usual headline eminating from Ibrox this time from Steven Naismith with the title 'Catch Us If you Can' - and that was after they went top on just one point, after Celtic's game against Inverness was postponed. Celtic did catch them up and we did go back to the top, sitting two points clear. As I have stated before, the title is now Celtic's to lose. And Rangers must win all their games hoping that Celtic drop points. Making the derby game on the 24th April very important.
The Post-Split fixtures were announced yesterday, seeing Celtic with only TWO Home games and THREE Away games. However the postponed clash between Inverness and Celtic has not been scheduled yet, so that is Celtic's FOURTH Away game after the split. Compared to Rangers' three home games and two away games.
But as I said, the ball is in our court and as long as we walk away from Ibrox on the 24th April with all three points, then the league should be ours.
The two previous games against St.Mirren and St.Johnstone haven't been pretty. But to be fair to the team, with St.Mirren playing with all 11 men behind the ball and Celtic's exertions against Hibs only days before, can you really blame Celtic for being a wee bit tired? Yes they misplaced passes and left it late to score that all important winning goal from Kris Commons, but St.Mirren never really troubled Celtic in front of goal until the final minute of the game when John Potter flashes a shot from 6 yards out wide.
Likewise in the game against St.Johnstone, Celtic changed their style of play to 'Long Ball Merchants' to deal with the horrendous pitch that is housed at McDiarmid Park. And only two days after the same dodgy pitch hosted the League Challenge Cup. Celtic won the game again, thanks to a solitary goal from Beram Kayal. Again it wasn't pretty but three points are all that matter as we go into the title run-in.
Celtic have been scintilating this season at times, take for example our first half demolition of Hibs last week, our games against Aberdeen also. And while it is expected that the team would hit the buffers at some point, they are still dragging out wins, albeit ugly ones and when the final game of the season takes place with Celtic facing Motherwell at home and Rangers facing Kilmarnock, know one will care how the SPL winners won the league, only that they won it. The history books will only show the Winner and the Runner-up.
I will gladly take 1-0 wins in our remaining games, for all that matters is our Captain Scott Brown and Manager Neil Lennon lifting the SPL trophy at the end of the season in front of a sell out crowd at Celtic Park. And with it hopefully the Scottish Cup days later, if we manage to keep our winning record against Aberdeen intact on Sunday.
Neil Lennon lifting that SPL trophy will eat into EVERY Rangers fan for the next days, weeks and months. The man that they hate with a vengeance for what he stands for. A man they have physically assaulted, a man who has received death threats, bullets and hoax bombs sent in the mail to him, a man who has had to receive Police Protection, on the scale that the Prime Minister receives all because a few thousand or so sectarian and hate-filled Rangers fans detest the man and for the jersey he once wore, and the club that he now manages.
But I will post this warning. At the end of this season if Celtic do win, and I certainly hope they do. Be prepared for the fall-out. If you thought the violence that ensued after the Scottish Cup victory over them was bad, wait until Lennon lifts that SPL trophy.