Cluj, KT and the future.

If someone had offered me a 1-1 draw in Romania before Wednesday’s match, I’d have bitten their hand off. Having walked away from that game with that result, I’m more than satisfied.

Cluj could have driven Celtic to a miserable result, but they didn’t. Despite becoming less effective as the game wore on, Celtic clung onto a draw.

I think the game was very even at times, but there were also periods where Celtic were being sloppy and could have been punished. In fact a lot of the post-match focus has been on the negative stuff despite some of the opportunities that came Celtic’s way throughout .

Some of this probably has been aided by the fact Celtic were about to lose their best ever homegrown talent of the 21st century. I wasnt affected by that due to watching the game – minus any headlines – sone 24 hours later in Canada, but i’ll come to KT later.

Having lost a sloppy goal to Cluj, I felt Celtic may go under. They proved me wrong though and responded with a equaliser.

The second half looked as though Neil Lennon’s players were becoming less effective. Cluj were desperate for a better result and it showed in their determination, but frustration was beginning to set in with their play and as the game headed toward the final whistle Celtic looked like they could score towards the end.

The 1-1 draw supposedly puts Celtic in a better position, but I’d wary of that. Whilst a score draw with an away goal has its advantages, Cluj will battle tooth and nail at Celtic Park, you can be sure of that.

I was pleased with our tempo at times, but we also made basic errors and our link up play was missing via the midfield. When we play in that broken fashion we put our defenders under pressure which was evident throughout.

A lot of the negativity was aimed at Bolingoli and rightly so. He was caught out numerous times but it wasn’t all down to him.

He has made errors since arriving, but I see a player in there. Wednesday night was far from his finest 90 minutes, but we won’t help his future by bashing him now.

With Kieran Tierney gone now, expectations are high on him as the replacement. Let’s be realistic and give the guy a break, KT was phenomenal and we’ve lost a player that will be difficult to replace.

We knew it was inevitable that we’d lose Kieran one day. I’m having trouble accepting that even with the long term knowledge.

I wish the young guy all the best but I’d have loved another two years. He’d have had more options, but it is his choice and I hope his career continues to bloom because he’s a special talent.

What now for Celtic then? A huge talent lost, but we move on because we must.

It’s a new era at the club and Neil Lennon has the responsibility of creating that. He’s never really benefited from Kieran as a player so as a manager he may never truly know what he has lost other than from a fans point of view.

We can mourn the loss of KT, but we won’t gain from doing so. The money has to help rebuild this team’s future.

That should be the legacy of Kieran Tierney. He moves on and so does the club.

We go into next week’s game at Celtic Park with a favourable result, but it is far from over. Get past this round and we have another big hurdle to overcome.

Regardless of whether we end up on the Champions League or Europa League path next, we have to invest. It’s time to plan for the future and Kieran Tierney’s departure is the best example of that.

Nurture, advance, profit, reinvest. That is the duty of the club.

If we do anything but reinvest the money from this sale, then we piss all over the club and its history. We’ve allowed one of our most prized possessions to go for a fee which whilst large does not fill the emotional void it has created.

Now the club must honour the fans, the team and the manager. Give Neil what he needs and don’t wait for things to go wrong.

The time is now. We believe in Neil Lennon.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

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