Make It Happen Rangers
So we had better prepare ourselves for a nerve-jangling afternoon. So long as the scoresheet is blank, Walter will stick with the patent approach, firm in the belief that the goal will come. Our problems will start if, as at Easter Road recently, we fall behind and find ourselves chasing the game. If United are going to score, I hope they do it as early as possible so we have more time to tip things back in our favour.
All of which really is a piece of nonsense. We are playing against a team who, despite a relatively reasonable record against us over recent years, are fully 30 points behind us in the table. If beating such modest opposition with such a rich prize at stake is intimidating our players they really are in the wrong line of work. This is the sort of game any player worth his salt would want to be involved in, it is time to rise to the challenge and, knowing what is on the line, our guys have to show themselves to be worthy of the blue jersey they will be wearing.
My mood swings this week have been insufferable. One moment I'm strolling around whistling the sort of tunes which would get me a cheeky letter from Kenny Scott, winking at friends and making GIRUY gestures to others; the next I'm slumped in a chair, head in hands, contemplating that which we don't want to contemplate.
The build-up hype has been nothing short of a disgrace. From non-stories about mini-buses of Bears traveling through to Dundee to buy tickets, then giving Tannadice staff abuse for refusing to sell, local PC Plod talking about 'robust' policing, their chairman's damned near provocative stuff about 'this is our game', the revelations that the Timmy hordes didn't behave themselves a year ago (no coverage of this at the time), the Lafferty/Bougherra nonsense. Anybody get the feeling that nobody wants us to enjoy ourselves?
There is a Manchester-like feel to it all, with so many hoping it goes tits-up for Rangers, then every insignificant incident in the country will be attributed to 'the Ibrox backlash'. So it should go without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that we need to be on our best behaviour on Sunday. Make no mistake about it, even the slightest show of 'over-exuberance' in victory will be blown out of all proportion, the Hack Pack will have a field day, Speirs will be in his element, Murray and Bain will sit back and tut-tut among themselves (but do nothing) and all the usual suspects will stick the boot into us big bad Bears.
My money is on our enemies to be stirring the unmentionable through jealousy and spite. As bobans27 said on the messageboard earlier this week, Walter has put together the nucleus of a reasonable side and, having suffered so much disappointment at the tail end of last season, I reckon they will be stirred up enough to put Dundee United in their place. Winning this title will be the first for so many of our squad and it is that hunger to do it, then savour it over and over again, which has me upbeat about the team, although I still worry about Mr Chairman's meddling casting a dark cloud over our long-term future.
Forget all the talk of United having so much to play for. The title and the riches of the Champions League has to be a greater motivation than a minor European place. Besides, even if they had already wrapped up their Europa League slot, does anybody really believe Levein would let his players roll over meekly for us? Not a hope! For what its worth, I actually fancy the Hibs to get a result at Sheepieville so United will finish in third place anyway.
A big plus this week has been the absence of any silly quotes coming out of Ibrox. The news black-out tells me the squad is 100% focussed on what they have to do, they can do all their talking on Sunday afternoon on the pitch and in every media outlet afterwards. Hey, I might even break a long-standing habit and actually buy a paper or two on Monday.
After all the apprehension of this week, next week promises to be a pretty heavy-duty cheese and wine party (easy on the cheese for me!!!) and suddenly a very eventful season, which has not been without its darker moments, could come to a memorable conclusion. My liver is shaking in anticipation.
Make it happen, Gers. Just do it!!!