There was never any question of Ange indulging in any triumphalism yesterday, although some of the garbage we’ve had to put up with over the past few weeks has given him every reason to do so. A five-point lead and huge goal difference is nice to have, but Ange remembers well where this club was after six games last season and was never going to play this game.
Let’s be frank and say what needs to be said; there is no comparison between where we were at this time last year and where the Ibrox club is right now. We were a club trying to move forward. Once we got our feet under us, there was no stopping this team.
At Ibrox they have a number of big issues and with the window closing there is no way to fix them until January at the earliest when they could have an even bigger set of issues to deal with. . It doesn’t seem possible that they’ll get back to the kind of form we were on edge at this very stage of the race.
Even then, by then, we had produced two fantastic home games in the league, which gave a glimpse of what we were about to produce in the campaign. We had played excellent football in Europe, to qualify for the Europa Groups.
So you could see that Celtic were on the right track. You could see that once we had some basic stability, we were more than capable of continuing this winning run. I said it at the time. The media wouldn’t admit it, but we finally forced them to.
I understand why Ange won’t be jubilant. He simply expressed the fact that based on our form and based on the standards he wants us to meet, we will be very hard to stop. It’s September. There is a long way to go and, as I said earlier, we got there by treating every game and every opponent with the utmost respect. We take nothing for granted.
Yet we have a dumb media that thinks they can trick the manager into saying something stupid. I don’t know why they haven’t said yet that this man just won’t. He recognizes the bear trap for what it is; he has too much class and too much common sense to get into it. Indeed, it is so obvious that only a very stupid manager would do it.
So I wasn’t the least bit surprised that Ange avoided anything that suggested overconfidence. What surprised me was Jota’s reaction.
He was asked a silly question about it on Sky, and he actually laughed pointing out that it’s only September.
This is exactly why I am personally very confident; Ange drilled that into every person at Celtic Park. Trust is one thing. Arrogance is another. We learned the lesson from last season’s comeback that such a thing is possible.
That’s why it won’t happen.
Ange and this team will stay focused and determined and because they are, they just won’t allow it. Every point counts. Every win counts. Every game is huge. Every goal we score is crucial.
If the hacks think anyone at Parkhead is going to be tricked into sounding overconfident, they better think again.
Even if it wasn’t stupid, no one at Celtic thinks like that.