Celtic - 24h on

Last updated : 13 December 2009 By Firparkcorner

At time it can be difficult to strike a balance between hope and reality. On the one had we are only months into the new regime with a manager who has not yet visited all the SPL grounds. He has thrown together a mix of home grown boys, a sprinkling from the lower leagues in England and a few on-loan prospects. In July our prospects looked bleak and yet we stand every chance of being in the top half of the table at Christmas.

Christmas is coming to the club shop

The downside is that we can get carried away with the good start to the season and let our wish for success race ahead of the team's capabilities. After Celtic's opener on Saturday only the most extreme optimist would have argued that a Motherwell win was possible. It was clear that they have more than enough talent to take care of our novices. Yet by half time we were, to our surprise and delight, leading the game. That was the point when our minds were torn. We hoped for something from the game but deep down there was an understanding that a draw, at best, might be the best we might expect.

Ten minutes into the second period it was clear that our goal was going to be under sustained attack. Ruddy's post match comment that "it was like the Alamo" was a pretty accurate description. In the end we lost to a couple of spectacular strikes and we can have little complaint.

There has been some criticism of the second half substitutions and we'll never know if different switches might have changed the outcome. The introduction of Jamie Pollock and the starts given to Meechan and McHugh are entirely consistent with the manager's stated policy of blooding young players and testing the potential that we have in the club. It is hard to criticise his methods when we are already exceeding expectations.

A great opportunity to hear Gannon's thoughts in greater detail is afforded on Thursday of this week when he appears at the Trust's Fans Forum in the Cooper Suite. He'll be joined by Craig Brown, Chris McCart and Mark Hateley on the panel. More details here.