"That wins championships for you"; Pat Bonner loved what he saw at Celtic Park yesterday
Pat Bonner believes that Celtic grinding out narrow wins is what could be the key trait that wins them the Scottish Premiership this season.
Ange Postecoglou’s gung-ho attacking style has had many hoping that the Hoops would be blowing the opposition away for large spells of the campaign. However, recently, it’s been all about just getting over the line – something Celtic have been doing impressively regardless of the fixture.
Celtic have won 12 of their last 13 domestic matches. Of those 12, 9 of them have been victories of a one-goal margin. Indeed, Postecoglou’s men have been on the end of challenge after challenge in the Premiership this term, and they’ve answered the vast majority of them.
And Bonner believes it’s this determination and character that could win them the title come May. Speaking on BBC Sportsound after yesterday’s crucial 3 points, Bonner said: “It’s incredible [the chance of going top of the league on Wednesday]. The games that they’ll look back on – they’ll look back on that win at Ross County where they got a goal in the last minute.
“Today’s game – absolutely. Wednesday’s game against Hearts when they were under the cosh also in the second half but got the result, that’s critical. I know we talked about it on Wednesday night that maybe this year they haven’t killed teams off and they’ve won by the odd goal, but that in itself wins championships for you.
“So they’ve shown that resilience.”
Celtic no longer a soft touch as they grind out the victories
Last season there was almost a guarantee that we wouldn’t hold on to leads. In truth it was hard enough just getting into winning positions nevermind holding onto them. But when we did manage to go in front, we were a soft touch. It’s as simple as that.
Things couldn’t look any different this season under Ange. Despite being a coach that preaches the attacking principles of the game, his Celtic team know how to stay solid and eke out 3 points when necessary.
Hearts on Wednesday night was a great example of that. Under the cosh with decisions going against us all over the place. Yet we managed to get to that 90 minute mark with our lead intact as we left Edinburgh with a major 3 points. Given Rangers’ draw in Dingwall just days later, it’s clear we got our rewards for it too.
Considering 8 of our last 12 domestic victories have been narrow league wins, that’s 24 points gained from managing to see out matches when not much is going for us.
It’s brilliant stuff heading into such a crucial period of the season. It shows just how brave this Celtic team can be, even if we do still leak some silly goals from time to time.
Bonner is spot on in saying that it can win championships. But fingers crossed that’s exactly what it does come May.