There wasn’t a great deal of Christmas spirit inside Celtic Park with the scores tied at 1-1 on Saturday.
What had started as a stroll in the park for Neil Lennon’s men, soon turned into a bit of a situation. After starting so strongly and leading early on, we were pegged back by a resolute Aberdeen. And with 25 minutes to go we found ourselves badly searching for a winner.
Thankfully Odsonne Edouard came up with the answer as he so often does. But the atmosphere inside the stadium for the first 20 minutes of that second-half reeked of nervousness and apprehension. It was a reminder of how much is on the line.
Neil Lennon’s Celtic have shown they have the bottle
Going for ten-in-a-row was never going to be easy. We may be five points clear on our mission for a record-equalling ninth successive title, but there’s still the feeling that things are on a knife edge. That every single point matters.
If you think the murmurs inside Parkhead on Saturday were bad, it’s only going to get a whole lot louder over the next 18 months. Every subsequent match will matter more, with increasing importance placed on every goal, save and referees whistle.
It’s important, then, that we as fans remember to trust the team. They’ve won their last ten domestic matches after all. They’ve lifted ten successive trophies and have shown their mettle in Europe too. Neil Lennon’s team have all the answers at present and we really should learn to worry less.
It’s only natural as supporters to get a bit nervous from time to time. This writer wasn’t exactly cool as a cucumber as Lewis Ferguson stepped up to take a Dons free-kick from the edge of the box in the dying embers of the game.
But maybe he should’ve been. Lennon and his players seem to have everything under control at the moment. This time next week they may be eight points clear in a so-called “tight title race”. With the Betfred Cup already bagged as well as Europa League knockout football, that would be a pretty immense half-time achievement.
But it still won’t stop the most tranquil of supporters from getting a little twitchy if things aren’t going completely to plan.