Restart

After Sunday’s disappointing result at Tynecastle, Celtic had to respond. On and off the field of play.

On Wednesday we witnessed a response. On and off the field of play.

Marvin Compper joined Celtic from RB Leipzig on a two-and-a-half year deal. He was later paraded in front of Celtic fans attending Paradise for the visit of Partick Thistle.

Compper comes with a wealth of experience and acknowledged what the club means to the fans and his desire to play for Brendan Rodgers. All that was left for Celtic to do was to get a result in the Glasgow derby.

Celtic scored a goal in each half to secure a 2-0 win. There was nothing inspiring about the match overall, but it was the result that was important here.

Stuart Armstrong scored a terrific goal at a crucial stage in the first half. Kieran Tierney did the same in the second half to ease the minds of the fans.

This was the kind of response that the support wanted even if the stadium was a bit on the empty side. Though at this time of year it is not entirely unusual to see empty seats midweek the week before Christmas.

Celtic have now used their game at hand to give themselves a five point cushion. That’s a real positive with the game against 2nd placed Aberdeen on Saturday.

We’re now in entering the last three games of 2017. Two home matches and one away match aren’t a bad way to end the year either.

And what a year it has been so far. The completion of a treble in May and the possibility of another starting with the League Cup victory last month.

Then there is the unbeaten run. Whilst we process the obvious disappointment at that coming to an end, take time to remember what a marvellous achievement that has been.

Not just for the club or for us fans, but for a manager who has done so since taking charge of the team in the summer of 2016. 69 domestic games unbeaten is a tremendous feat which may never be beaten again in my lifetime or yours.

When you consider how far back the winning run goes you have to appreciate the effort even more. Also, the amount of games Celtic have had to play over and above every other domestic opponent is staggering.

Mentally it feels as though last season has finally come to an end and a new one has just begun. Is it any wonder the players having been looking a bit jaded?

I think this unbeaten run has been more of a drain on the players than we realised. Not a motivator in slightest.

With that pressure gone hopefully some focus will return to the current season. That they’ll begin to prove themselves all over again.

And to think, Brendan Rodgers has worked largely with an inherited squad. He hasn’t quite given it his own look just yet.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There is more to come from the Brendan Rodgers era.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

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