We’re not going to sit here and pretend that everything is rosy in Celtic’s garden.
In fact, there is a long list of issues and questions that deserved to be answered by the club as to what direction we’re heading in as well as some of the decisions made by the management and board.
However, one thing that’s clearly affecting morale amongst the Celtic fans is the league table. One glance at the Premiership and it shows us six points behind Rangers in our potential 10-in-a-row season.
Even worse is the fact that, when Celtic get set to face Aberdeen on Sunday at Hampden, we may already be nine points behind given Rangers will be in league action at Kilmarnock.
There’s simply no denying that the points gap that could be opened up is worrying supporters. Whether that’s transferring and feeding the anger towards Neil Lennon’s recent failings is up for debate. My guess is that it is.
In any other season, I don’t think we’re calling for Lennon’s head at this point. And if we were on the same number of games and only three points behind, I also don’t believe there is a mass panic around the club at the moment.
Yes, there would be concerns. The performances haven’t been up to par all season, whilst too many of the summer signings haven’t stepped up so far this season.
Six/nine-point lead isn’t what we’re making it out to be
However, this deceivingly big advantage Rangers look set to have is clearly taking its toll on the mentality around the club and sections of the support. It’s absolutely vital that we remember, as things stand, that our rivals are only three points clear of us.
That’s only one game. That’s a win at Ibrox. Do that and their advantage is wiped out. It would be different if we were genuinely six-nine points behind having played the same amount of games, but we aren’t. Not yet.
We still have so many opportunities to make this season a memorable one. We have a group of players who obtain talent the rest of Scotland could only dream of. A manager who, whilst he’s made plenty of mistakes this season, has still won more than any other manager in Scotland could dream of.
There simply has to be a belief in our ability to turn this around. It doesn’t say much for the character in this team if some of us believe that the league is in dangerous peril already. This is a Celtic side who, every year since Steven Gerrard arrived at Ibrox, has had to come back from adversity time and time again at differing stages of our recent campaigns.
It’s no surprise that we’re having to do the same this year. But let’s not allow ourselves to be fooled into thinking Rangers have anything more than a three-point advantage over us. Whether it grows to nine this weekend or not, in our minds it has to stay as three.
Let’s keep the focus and do our job on Sunday. Anything on Thursday against Lille is a bonus at this stage – this year is all about maintaining domestic dominance. Securing a Scottish Cup final place would be another positive step towards that.
As for the league, only one game separates us and our rivals. Absolutely nothing more.