Four Ahead at Fir Park

There are three SPL games in February, against Kilmarnock (Saturday 21), Aberdeen (Tuesday 24) and Partick Thistle (Saturday 28) before we entertain ICT on Saturday March 6 in the quarter final of the Scottish Cup.

Terry Butcher is well aware of the importance of the three league games. He described them all as “winnable” when he talked to members of the Trust at the meeting last week. He made it clear that the league was the priority although he did say that last year’s semi final was “wonderful”.

We are in the second half of the season now and after the cluster of home ties there will remain seven games before the split. Six points from these games would surely both install us as top six contenders and at the same time ensure that we were safe from a struggle in the relegation zone.

As TB pointed out at the meeting, “after each game my first instinct is see how far we are off the bottom rather than looking upwards and I’m sure the fans are the same”. So what are our chances? The frightening reality is that we should indeed take at least six points from the nine available.

Kilmarnock are in free fall, having lost four of their last five (the sole win gained against Thistle at the weekend), Aberdeen have manage one point from the last dozen (and that from the worst Rangers team in years) while Thistle have just celebrated the fact that their points tally for the season is now in double figures.

A top six finish would be a huge success for a team that has already exceeded our expectation. But points mean money and the players are well aware that contract negotiations will not start until after the split.

ICT in the cup could prove to be a hard task. Terry suggested that they will be better than both St Johnstone and Queen of the South but nevertheless we have to be favourites to be in the hat for the semi final draw.

It is easy to get carried away with the possibilities which open up if we can navigate these four games successfully. But there is no harm in being optimistic.

Come on ye ‘Well.