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Sunday- an opportunity


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The first old firm game of the season looms ahead of us. As usual theres a massive build up, and in the coming days expect a lot of chat about how massive the match is, how it will be important psycologically as neither team has dropped points yet, could set the tone for the rest of the season etc . Lets take a wee step back here...

This is a bigger game for Celtic than it is for us. We have an experienced team who have won titles, experienced the highs and lows of these games, shown character in adversity in the past. If we lost the game, although it would undoubtedly hurt, nobody at Ibrox or amongst the support would panic. We've still got them at Ibrox twice for starters, and this is a team with resiliance. They have a new team, and relatively new manager, who in all honesty have yet to prove themselves when it really matters. Lennons SPL record is impressive so far, but the last Old Firm game, although it was never meaningless, was as irelevant as any fixture between the 2 for a few years. They bottled it last year against Ross County, and they made an arse of it in europe and embarrassed themselves.

Of the likely starters for celtic, only maloney, samaras and loovens have any experience of this game. Of these three, although i think maloney is a good player, none of them strike me as natural leaders. So you've got 8 guys who are new to the fixture. Some players thrive on these occasions, others crumble, some go into a shell and take a few games before they can handle the fixture properly. Lets set ourselves up to have a real go at them and see how they handle the pressure. Get it on the deck, take the game to them, ask the questions. We've seen enough from our team this year to believe in them, lets hope walter shows faith in them and sends them out to win, not to be just hard to beat. Adopt the same attitude we did 2 years ago when we won 4-2 there. That result set the marker for that campaign and I think gave everybody at rangers the belief we could be champions. I think this is a similar scenario. If Celtic lose this match, despite their other results, questions will be asked about their teams ability to deliver when it really matters.

In fairness to Walter, our record at parkhead since his return- 2 wins, 2 draws and 3 defeats, isnt too bad, considering the defeats were narrow and how poor our record there was prior to his return. Its a sight better than their record at ibrox in that time- 1 win and 6 defeats. He's set teams out to be hard to beat at parkhead in the past and got results, in the ehiogu game, 0-0 draw and mculloch new year game- but this time I'm desperate to see us have a real go. If we go for it and lose, I'll be gutted but take it on the chin, confident we'll be abe to turn it round over the season. If we show them too much respect and play for a draw, I'll see it as a missed opportunity.

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