May our pain be champagne
I dont know about you but I see the European double header as a freebie.
To me anyway objective number one is qualify for one of the Euro group stages
Two is win the league.
Three is be in Europe after Christmas .
Four would be the Cup.
Thus I see it as a win win scenario . Take any result and its puff your chest out time , dont take anything and its fully focused all steam ahead towards goal number 2 .
Ask a footie fan not affiliated with our team and ten out of ten will tell you we are going out here .
Perhaps one or two might opine that we could scrape a draw , even a narrow win , but will be swept aside ultimately over in sunny Spain .
Statistically they are probably right , we are just showing up .
Theres a few things in our favour here though .
Primarily we can actually play with the handbrake off and pressure off . Pressures on them as far as I can see . No one I have been reading is confident , just curious really .
We have nothing to lose and everything to gain .
Whether the gaffer feels like that is another issue ,, but then again why wouldnt he ?
Surely hes under no pressure from above for a victory and the fans are chillaxed about the whole situation , I cant see any other way for him to approach tomorrows game as a must win , attack them while we have them here bhoys basically .
If those who like to predict Brendans departure this summer ( I hold up my hand ) have any conviction then this is the last time ( on paper ) he will lead the Hoops out at home on one of those special magical nights ,,, and holy crap they are good arent they !
If hes going out ,, Im sure many of us would agree , go out with a bang Brendan !
Go for the jugular while they are on our hallowed turf .
A home victory is vital for any chance to go through ,, although the away goal or a team playing on the break can kill you quick .
Concentration is a hard word to type and an even harder part of the modern day game to master , but not being as skillful or as used to a quick passing game , its the one area that we simply must match to have a chance.
Our wide players have been on form and that is soo important in providing an attacking outball .
If Sinky can carry his current streak over into this harder plateau then we are in with a chance but a smart manager would be well wary of our dangerman and those he will come up against more used to that type of guile .
I have wrote him off before and now sit humbled , please humble me again Scotty. The floors all yours .
James Forrest has ( I hope ) proved a lot wrong by finding another gear for the last few seasons , and is hitting his peak . The opposition manger would be smart to be very wary of him and his pace.
Ultimately though Im hoping on Friday morning we are not scapegoating or sitting with regret ,, as they have earned the right to our support should we not progress further . This is bonus territory and we should just savour it and learn whatever we can from the tie . Its a good benchmark and nice exposure .
Speaking of exposure ,, one of the rookies I have been keeping an eye on got brought down to earth with a bang last night . Ole Gunnar was given a lesson by a canny operator Tuchel and his bling team PSG . Lets watch if the other rookie ( Solari ) also suffers defeat , although his charges are on the road in Amsterdam . A bit more of an excuse to me and you but I doubt the Madrid faithful will see it like that .
Let us know your thoughts on the team and we will publish