Reaction After the Stirling Defeat
The papers went ballistic on the Saturday result against Stirling and probably rightly so. Celtic had been on a good run for some months, so to drop 2 points to a team 4th from bottom was unexpected, to say the least, and the Celtic players, like every player at a time like that, were publicly being asked all the usual questions. Did you under-estimate Stirling?; did you take them lightly?; had you not prepared well enough? etc, etc.
The answer was, as it often is, that the lesser side treats the match like a cup final and puts every single piece of effort into it, whereas the bigger club has had a bad day at the office, probably individually a little off par, while at the same time being put off by the slope of the ground. It was not the first time that Celtic had under-achieved on the Annfield slope and it would not be the last, either!
If I had been nowhere near fit on the Saturday, there was no way I would be fit for a game two days later, so I was forced to sit this one out too.
Bob Rooney and I were still going through the hot/cold routine and while I had my reservations about what was undoubtedly an old-fashioned remedy, I must confess that it was working, although one side effect was the damage to the skin around my ankle and lower leg, which was peeling off every time I took my socks on and off. Ach! But what are a few 3rd degree burns compared to the cause of Celtic?
There had been a further complication, though. On the Monday morning, I had taken time off from my classes – having arranged with a pal to take some notes – and driven over to the Victoria Infirmary, where I saw one of the Orthopaedic Consultants. He examined my ankle, did the usual movements and prodding, then told me that he agreed with Doc Fitzsimmons’ diagnosis of torn ligaments. “It is not a severe case of the injury, though” I was delighted to hear him say and was even more pleased when he informed me that recovery would be swift. He asked what treatment I was getting and when I told him, he smiled and said “now I know why the skin is peeling off!”
Anyway, when I got back to the park, I lied through my teeth, saying that the injury was indeed the mildest form of a tear you could possibly have and that recovery would be quick. God forgive me but I did not want to be out any longer than necessary.
It was only five days since we had played Dundee in the Scottish Cup, so there should not be much about them that we did not know. In the league campaign, they were still in mid-table, whereas we were two points behind Rangers, having played one match fewer.
Thoughts of the Boss
The press were of the opinion that this could be a tricky match for Celtic, although the Boss, who had been quite mild in his comments after the Stirling match, had obviously changed his mind and certainly put the boot in ;-
‘At Parkhead, the situation is equally intriguing for the Celtic v Dundee encounter.
Here you have Celtic, who put Dundee out of the Scottish Cup last week, seeking to make amends for that defeat at Stirling’.
Manager Jock Stein said today “The loss of two vital points could be a costly one in our bid to win the League Championship”.
He explains the defeat by blaming his team for starting off at too slow a pace and being unable to speed it up later on when needed.
Jock told me : “Some of our players think that all they have to do now is pull a jersey over their heads and Celtic have won”
There is a suggestion here that those players will be told to get rid of their delusions in double-quick time!
Last time round, I asked which player in the reserve side which beat Stirling Albion – Martin, Young, O’Neill, Cattenach, Cushley, Brogan, Gallagher, H Quinn, J Quinn, Lennox and Taylor – had gone on to play for Coventry. The answer was Jim Brogan
And this week’s question is also about that same side. From which club did Celtic sign Henry Quinn?
Fans Late Home
The last carriage of the Saturday midnight sleeper train from Euston to Liverpool, carrying crowds of football fans from the Fulham v Liverpool match, was derailed and had to be taken out of service.
General Election Date
Britain will go to the polls in the general Election on Thursday March 31st. The present parliament will be dissolved next Thursday 10th March.
The Place Went Wild
A Wellington, New Zealand, policeman was taken to hospital with a fractured hand, a girl burst an appendix and several people had minor injuries when 300 teenagers rioted at a performance by the Rolling Stones.