The dramatic events at Fir Park on Saturday, which at times seemed almost scripted for the Motherwell pay tv audience, showed that the message from Brendan Rodgers to the players is finally getting through.
The Irishman didn’t want to change the way Celtic played, he just wanted to make everyone better at it.
We never stop is fine, but sometimes we need to think a bit about what we’re going to do before we start.
The late winner , when most sides would have crumbled and settled for a draw, showed that the old spirit and confidence has returned, and events elsewhere have meant the players have been largely ignored in the build up to tonights visit of Lazio, the cuddly, continental family club equivalent of our own neighbours over the river.
Cameron Carter Vickers has been in training, and not only could make the squad, but might even make the team.
Luis Palma, who was a target for the booboys after he failed to bag a hat trick with his first two touches, has sort of redeemed himself at Fir Park with the opening goal, and should start , along with Daezen Maeda amd Kyogo Fuhruhashi.
With players returning from injury and keen to be involved, there will be support from the bench in Oh, Yang and the experienced James Forrest…another who has been castigated by an impatient support, but watch his run for Matt O’Riley’s winner on Saturday….
That sort of experience and selflessness always has a place in any team.
Reo Hatate is getting closer to full fitness and should be alongside Calum MacGregor and O’Riley, and the captain might now feel that with the return of the Japanese playmaker, he can relax and get on with his own job, a feeling that is stronger given that O’riley has begun to shine under the new boss.
If Carter Vickers does return, three out of four first picks at the back will be in place, and with Joe Hart returning, maybe we will be a little more secure at the back.
Home European fixtures might be a great night out, but don;t seem to be the banker bet they were under O’Neill and even Gordon Strachan.
We’re too nice, and opposition players relish the experience rather than fear it.
I’ve harped on enough about making life uncomfortable for them from the minute they land in Glasgow until the full time whistle goes, but we still seem to favour popularity over results.
This is a results business, and it’s time to swap likes on You Tube for points on the board.
Whatever it takes.
By all accounts, Lazio have had a poor start to the season, languishing 16th in Serie A after seven games, which suggests they might be looking forward to a break from league football, and that is something the players will need to be aware of.
Of course, no hot water in the dressing rooms and arranging for their bus to be stuck in traffic so they don;t get to the ground until about ten to eight would help as well, but an early goal would probably be better, and not result in a UEFA investigation.
Rodgers will have stressed the importance of discipline for the team, and whilst the natural urge to be a little enthusiastic is appreciated by the support, the referees don;t seem keen on it, as we saw against Feyenoord where a couple of mistakes out paid to what had been as mature an away performance as any in recent years.
However if we do what we can do well, and everyone keeps the heid, so to speak, the campaign can be put right back on track tonight, and that’s all we want.
Now, those events elsewhere that have proved to be a welcome distraction to allow our club to prepare undisturbed, and before we go into any detail, or any speculation, I’d like to echo the thoughts of this clearly intelligent and witty twitterer….
Caption: Like most of them his head isn’t screwed on right.