With the League Cup still to draw, and no idea what that will throw up, our fixture list for the next three matches which are confirmed is a series of away games.
Two are in Europe. One is at Easter Road. All three of them are going to be difficult matches.
But only one of them matters in terms of the win.
There is a school of thought – and most of the time I don’t disagree with it – which says that you should not interrupt momentum.
The only momentum that counts is in the domestic game, and if Neil Lennon wants to rest half the first team for the two European games which are coming I don’t think any of us will have too many complaints.
If we field first teams in both of those games, I expect us to lose both.
There’s no point, at this stage, in pretending I have faith in the manager in these sort of matches. If we lose both with full strength squads, the pressure will ramp up on him. At the end of the Sparta game at home he conceded that Europe was finished. The best thing he can do is hold to it.
These remaining two fixtures have to be seen for what they now are; they are bounce games, matches of no consequence whatsoever.
Why would we risk injuries and further momentous disruption for them?
Field the fringe players, find out what they’ve got and keep the starters for the matches that matter, starting with the away game at Hibs.
Let’s be honest, nobody is going to get terribly excited over two defeats if we’ve played the second string and these players have gotten some experience.
To do otherwise is self-defeating to me, but perhaps others feel differently?
I know a lot of our fans don’t want to see us losing any game, and the idea that we should purposefully write any matches off is anathema to them.
There are others who will be concerned that heavy defeats would really put the manager under the cosh … to me though, I reckon those games can only cause us grief at the moment and I’d rather we downplayed them.
But of course, I see an argument for playing this out to final game, and I suspect that’s what Neil Lennon is going to choose to do.
Just once though I’d prefer it if we thought strategically and particularly when you consider how many of our players will be away, again, on international duty and are in dire need of some time on the side-lines.
Listen, things would be different if we had won at Celtic Park against either Milan or Prague.
If we had beaten the Czech’s, as most expected, none of us would even be considering dropping this is as feasible way forward. But our own bad form has wrecked any realistic prospect of us making progress, so we might as well make the best of this bad situation.
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