Bhoys must brave the battle of Bosnia
Once bitten twice shy ?
After all this time last week I had us hitting three past Riga, but not only that I was convinced we would see the team perform due to being on the European stage.
It was a sloppy scrape by.
Which makes calling this one more interesting.
We now know that the team turned up on Sunday, not Thursday. But still it has turned up and shown an extra gear or two recently. Just in time as my last article said.
So chances of the team showing up tonight?
Well look at the top down.
Just as a mother can look at her child and know tiredness, stress, lack of good food, so can the Celtic support instantly diagnose not only the managers mindset but also his suitability to the task at hand, when the plan fails.
We share that trait with every big club on the globe I believe the gaffers pre game interview was revealing.
We all take different things out of life never mind our team but I tend to believe that during every interview there comes out a message, whether clear or hidden, at the start or the end. In general the managers of most big clubs use such interactions to reinforce their views upon players more often than not.
And so it proved. About five minutes in Lenny got down to the knitty gritty.
” Prepared well”
” Ready to go”
” Approach the game with real intent to win it”
” Look forward to going through hopefully”
We know if he is saying that publicly then it’s a case of ramming home what he is saying privately.
He also mentioned a performance owed by the team to him, perhaps a little pat on the back for being the public shield so far?
But whatever and however you read that interview, it’s clear we are here to win as what other choice does a do it die game present?
We will see how the night goes would have been totally the wrong approach. Sounds like Lenny is drumming home we will win this to his troops.
So of course you will make your own mind up but there’s a good case in my humble opinion to have a bit of faith tonight.
Neil and more specifically this team are not known for repeat poor performances,, one loss doesn’t signal the beginning of a bad run with this Lennys Celtic but more or less guarantees a kick back of sorts. Very old school but a good team always trains a bit harder, puts in a bit extra, and makes sure that after a poor performance you put on a show.
Aye we turned up against Hibs, a Hibs that Lenny pointed out are a good team, but we need to correct Riga.
Neil knows how much Europe means to the fans and club in general, so after a scrape by against a lesser light he will be demanding a statement performance.
He has some cards to play in that respect.
For starters we just seen Mo and Frimpong get selected based on their form plus Turnbull put in a good subs performance essentially immitating Ryans role.
This tells me Neil is receptive to fitting in his best players and will reward good application and results.
Players love to know this, some need to.
So once again it stands to reason that we have players playing to catch the eye, to grab the jersey for a while. Not all positions but some.
James being out has lead to young Frimpers again grabbing the chance, but tonight offers what I think is THE big one in that if he is instrumental to success, let’s face it he is staying in. Lenny ain’t that in love with James and especially not during make or break season.
So wee Frimpong is one good game tonight away from staying in first team, and will see that pathway.
Expect him to shine.
Mo also is in a similar situation with his quality undoubted but his best position still to be discovered.
There’s one clear answer for him, make himself undroppable and the easiest way to do that is catch the eye hopefully via assists or getting on the score sheet, much like the weekend.
One other notable was Lennys insistance that no players where going, no first teamers anyway. This presents the players in question with a choice. Go through tonight and the season takes on a hell of a lot more interest PLUS now you are in the continents eyeballs while your price is depreciating.
Playing and being seen on a big stage is the best way to earn the big move, so it’s really in some players interest to put in a shift whilst in the continent.
Basically it’s hard to make a case it’s not in EVERYBODIES best interests to get through to the group stages.
Those who may subscribe to the no Europe less distractions dream will wail when a vital player is “sacrificed” to ensure the balance of books while that left back Lenny or the club has been pursuing since Calmac failed there still hasn’t arrived, nor will he if there’s no group stage. That’s just my opinion and nothing more.
Our opponents have faced no one of note and just got beaten by Brest. I see zero reasons to be fearful or expect a reversal. The gaffers subliminal messages just reinforced that.
We came to do a job, show up and we will go through.
I have no problem with team being sent out to win, zero and for many Hoops it’s simply what we do!
However Eastern European teams are known for their technical skills and their battling qualities plus the partisan crowd, thank the Lord that’s not an issue.
So, they are home but not at home, and we need to win plus have found a bit of form.
After last week I should learn caution, but I just get the feeling there’s a team bursting to win, players busting a gut to be involved, plus a manager urging them on knowing wins breed confidence.
Beating teams whilst not at top stride is generally regarded as a mark of quality, so in that respect we are looking good.
An away victory, we brave this battle of Bosnia 2 zip.
Possible team, , 4 5 1
COME ON YOU BHOYS IN GREEN!!!