In the Spirit for another treble

On Sunday I had pleasure of attending the Spirit of ’67 Worthing Celtic Supporters Club. Given the general accent of those in attendance, it felt like I was back in Scotland.

Tam, Fee and all the Celts there made me and my small crew feel very welcome, laying on food as well as some brilliant banter. We even had a sing song afterwards.

I couldn’t have picked a better place to watch Celtic smash the zombies into the Hampden turf. And that’s just what the Bhoys did.

We’ve never stopped hearing “The Rangers are coming.” If it hasn’t been their fans it’s been the media.

The so called title challenge has been anything but that. Celtic haven’t been as good as they were last season – we know that.

Though this fact has never been taken into account when playing this mob. Even then, Celtic have only been overturned twice though never by our Glasgow rivals.

And this is important to factor in when assessing your own progress. Because when you consider that Celtic didn’t start well in the last game at Ibrox, came from behind twice and eventually won the match with 10 men you have to recognise the difference in quality.

There is no title race and the last opportunity for silverware at Ibrox this season was snuffed out by a Celtic team very much on their game yesterday. Celtic had a few lapses in concentration by those who for me cannot be considered first choice any more.

Still, Graeme Murty’s side couldn’t take those chances. Even if they had, Brendan Rodgers players were in total control throughout and that’s the difference.

So it should serve as a reminder to the blue half of the city, who cheered when they were drawn against Celtic, that they are way off the pace when faced with a fully loaded Celtic side. The evidence was on show for all to see in glorious HD.

So now Celtic have a date in the final. Once again they will face Motherwell in a cup final.

Having wiped the floor with Derek McInnes’ Aberdeen, Stephen Robinson has taken his physical and ruthless side to another Hampden final. There will be further determination to right the wrongs of the League Cup Final at the end of last year.

Motherwell are not a team to take lightly. Celtic may have won the last final, but there is sufficient evidence from previous meetings this season to suggest the Steelmen are a credible threat.

Along with Steve Clarke’s Kilmarnock and Neil Lennon’s Hibs, I rate these clubs to put pressure on Aberdeen and Rangers next season. I’ve been impressed by all three managers and their teams this season.

For now, a place in the final has been firmly established by a clinical performance from Celtic. On Saturday they will travel to Easter Road to try and secure their 7th title in a row.

Hibs will be no pushovers. They’ve already held Celtic twice this season to 2-2 draws home and away. Celtic won the last league encounter as well as beating Hibs in the League Cup.

There’s a confidence and determination from Lennon’s side though. They’ve scored six goals in four games against Celtic drawing blank only once.

So if Celtic are to win the league this Saturday they’ll have to be at their best. Failing that they can always do it at home against our friends from Ibrox the following Sunday at Celtic Park.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

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