The weekend’s draw with St Johnstone was an obvious disappointment among the Celtic support. Especially after the elation of their 1-0 victory over Zenit St Peterburg a week ago.
I was at the European encounter and enjoyed the performance and the atmosphere immensely. It felt a lot like the FC Astana game I attended some seven months previous, minus the goal-fest of course.
During Sunday’s league tie I was flying back home so never saw the game. It wasn’t the follow-up performance at home many were hoping for.
Was this necessarily a bad thing though? I don’t think so.
Before you shoot me down, humour me a little. By no means do I think it was good thing, but I think psychologically it puts the Bhoys in the right frame of mind for tonight’s game in Russia.
We never lost to the Perthshire side on Sunday so it’s not all doom and gloom. Perhaps it keeps Celtic hungry for the Europa League away leg tonight.
If Brendan Rodgers and his players can edge past Roberto Mancini’s, it would be a modern milestone for everyone at Celtic. There is no reason to believe progression is out with our grasp.
I’m not totally convinced Zenit got it 100% wrong in Glasgow. So I expect to see a response from our Russian hosts.
There was a fine line over the outcome of the match. Did Celtic get it right or did Zenit get it wrong though?
It may not be quite as black or white as that. There were a lot of factors involved.
Many of these were in Celtic’s favour. I still feel that’s the case going into this match.
Celtic were dominant in the first leg. Zenit were dormant.
Tonight it’s all about character. We’ve seen that away from home with Celtic before in Europe.
Forget results against the top teams. That’s another level altogether.
We can score in Russia. I also expect Zenit to score as well, but it’s a different match.
Right now we concentrate on what’s in front of us. If we’re successful we move forward and if not we learn and move on.
Tonight could be a another step on the ladder. Or it could just be another lesson.
The Krestovsky Stadium will be jumping. Just as Celtic Park was.
Zenit are odds on. What have we got to lose?