How Are We Doing?

Last updated : 20 January 2006 By Firparkcorner

Celtic: Home 4-4, Away 0-5: 1 point

One point out of six from the old firm (especially the half likely to win the title) is probably not to be sniffed at. However, it was disappointing to drop two points by conceding the first of the many late goals that are haunting our season. The away game is best forgotten. Verdict: Pass, just.

Hearts: Home 1-1, Away 1-2: 1 point

It’s amazing how the last minute of games has hampered us this season. In this series for example, Gordon’s injury time save from Clarkson at Tynecastle and Hartley’s late, late penalty cost us three points. Instead we have to settle for a solitary point from a home draw. Hearts are good but we showed we could match them on our day and one from six is a disappointing tally. Verdict: Fail, narrowly.

Hibs: Home 1-3, Away 1-2: 0 points

Hibs gave us a thrashing at Fir Park and the away fixture could have been similar but for some heroic goalkeeping and bad finishing. Hibs are perhaps over-rated by the media but when it comes to playing us they just blow us apart with energy and movement we simply don’t have. Verdict: Fail.

Rangers: Home 0-1, Away 0-2: 0 points

We’re constantly told that this is one of the worst ever Rangers teams and their results against other teams back this up. Regardless they have a sign over us and not matter we do we cannot get a break against them. The last match was an improvement though and goodness knows how we didn’t take at least a draw. Verdict: Fail.

: Home 2-2, Away 1-4: 1 point

The margins of success and failure are slim indeed. Had we held on for a (just about) deserved home win, we’d be happy with a split. Instead we have to put up with another single point and the gubbing they gave us at Rugby Park is one of the low points of the season. Verdict: fail.

: Home 0-2, Away 2-1: 3 points

Having achieved an excellent win in Inverness we threw away our advantage over the Highlanders with a costly home loss. That’s another game we could/should have won but there’s only so long you can put up claims of ‘bad luck’. Still, a split is not too bad here. Verdict: pass.

Aberdeen: Home 3-1, Away 2-2: 4 points

Yet more points were thrown away here but a very good display at home means we can be very pleased with our return from the Dons. They can clearly play better than their position suggests but we have taken advantage of their inconsistency. Throw in the League Cup quarter and we’ve earned the right to be very happy. Verdict: pass.

United: Home 4-5, Away 1-1: 1 point

Arrrgh. Dundee United under Gordon Chisholm were there for the taking but one horrific defensive showing and one off day resulted in a mere one point for us. They must be laughing their heads off at having taken four points from us, especially given the nature of the Fir Park win. Verdict: fail.

Falkirk: Home 5-0, Away 1-0: 6 points

The new team in the league can be a tricky prospect but we dealt superbly with Falkirk at Fir Park. Things were a bit tighter away but for once we were the more deadly side in front of goal and stole the points. No complaints here. Verdict: pass.

Dunfermline: Home 1-0, Away 3-0: 6 points

A rare late goal went in our favour and the win at East End Park was not nearly as comfortable as the score suggests. We have made hard work of it but despite some nervy moments the six points have been earned. Verdict: pass.

Livingston: Home 1-0, Away 2-1: 6 points.

Almost a replica of Dunfermline here and we enjoyed some luck in both matches. Our finishing was a little bit sharper over the two games but we can consider ourselves fortunate to have the full compliment of points. That’s what matters though. Verdict: pass.

So, five passes and seven fails is probably not too far off what anyone would have expected. It is worrying to see that although we beat all the bottom three on both occasions, the only other top six contender we have taken a majority from is Aberdeen. Kilmarnock and Dundee United have both bested us in head to heads and with the final Inverness match being away we’ll need to work very hard to get a result there. It is doubtful we’ll make the top six without a big improvement against the other mid-table teams and our points collection from the top four has been nothing short of dire. With the unknown factors of United and Inverness changing managers, it is clear we are not out of the race for the top half yet – but a marked improvement is needed.

Overall report card verdict: we show some potential but careless mistakes and lack of concentration will stop us progressing…