I can't remember when we were last so upbeat going into an Old Firm clash. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking it. Having had more than my fair share of worrying build-ups over the years, give me the 'how many will it be?' approach over the 'oh-mammy-daddy' stuff any day. However, since they threw away two points at Shittodrie, I've detected an over-confidence amongst us, a superior outlook which is bordering on complacency, and that certainly worries me.
Exchanging a bit of banter with a couple of them, a mate of mine got right into their ribs. He was offering them two goals of a start in a bet, talking about Boydie getting a hat-trick, predicting it would be 'taxi for Mowbray' come Monday morning. It was all good natured, everybody laughed, Timothy even gave a bit back, but at the end of it all the barmaid threw in her tuppence worth.
"Ye'd better hope things don't go tits-up on Sunday or ye've set yerself up for a right slaggin',"
Lets hope it doesn't come to that but knowing that it can be all over for them this weekend will make Timothy a very dangerous animal. This is a must-win game for them and they won't be too fussy about how they do it. They'll kick and punch, push and shove, bite and scratch and spit. They'll do whatever it takes.
And with a fairly cushy lead, I wonder if our guys will be ready to do that little bit extra when faced by a team uninhibited by scruples. As I've said to my pals over and over again, regardless of what happens on Sunday, the Mhanks will drop other points so we'll win the league anyway.
My money is on Walter setting out to keep things tight, quite happy to plod along at
0-0, keeping our seven point lead intact. All of which would be more than enough for me, if I didn't run the risk of a massive coronary every time they cross the halfway line in the dying stages. C'mon, it wouldn't be the first time they've fluked it in the 94th/95th minute.
So while those around me are screaming for our fellas to kill them off in the first 20 minutes, whilst obviously not averse to the prospect, I'll be looking to see our team get hold of the ball, knock it around to keep control of the game, bide our time for the breakthrough, then make sure we don't let it slip with any gung-ho nonsense.
It might not be the prettiest of stuff but, if it gets the job done, does anybody really care? Winning ugly is not a new concept, we've been quite happy do see it done in the past so I'd worry if we adopted a needlessly cavalier approach, just because we've got a few points to play with. It is all about winning.
Already Septic are indulging in mind games with the ref and it will get worse as kick-off draws near. So the Rangers players will have to stand up to them, win their personal battles before anybody even begins to think about showboating.
My money is on 1-0, with Boyd getting the goal. Look out Ladbrokes!