THAT MONDAY MORNING FEELING - AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
Initially, we had the same old sloppy stuff at the back and can count ourselves fortunate not to have fallen behind early in the game but, once we got our noses in front, Rangers went for the jugular. How good it was to see the team impose themselves on a game and, while it has to be said that Dundee United weren't too clever, they were only as good as we allowed them to be.
Once Charlie Adam was quick-witted enough to see the keeper off his line and fire the Gers into the lead, it was clearly going to be a good day and, after Burkey made it 2-0, it was just a matter of how many. I was quite happy to settle for five but, in all honesty, we might have ran up double figures in the second half.
With Boydie and Baz adding another three after a prolonged half-time break, it was interesting to monitor the response of the crowd. Reading some of the posts on the Messageboard on Friday, I wondered if there might be some reaction to ‘the troublemakers'. Thankfully, nothing materialized. Whatever happened in the dressing-room during the PLG reign is in the past, they are regarded as good enough for Walter Smith so that should be good enough for you and me.
Indeed, each and every Bear in the crowd should give himself a big pat on the back. The atmosphere was great, everybody seemed to be in an upbeat mood and special praise is due to the Blue Order for their They Came When Duty Called banner. I half-expected an indignant Hack Packer to pick up on it and give us a lecture on the evils of sectarianism but clearly it passed over their heads. Nice one!
However, as Walter said, it is just one win. We've had other good results this season, we just didn't seem capable of building on them. So the target is to string a series of victories together, make that second spot our own and lay the foundations for next season.
On Sunday afternoon I was in the company of some Bears who got a wee bit upset when the Mhanky Mhob came from behind to win at Swinecastle but I've abandoned all interest in events elsewhere. To be perfectly honest, the sooner the Charlie Sims get the SPL wrapped up, the happier I will be. Don't get me wrong, I grudge them everything they get, whether it be a corner kick or even a feckin shy, and if it was at all possible for them to throw the league away I'd be wishing them to do it.
But can you imagine how galling it would be for us if they were to go on a losing run and end up winning the title by only five or six points? Then we would spend the summer greeting about last minute goals lost to Killie and Caley and kicking the cat for other stupid points we squandered. I can live without that sort of crap.
The first half of this season was hardly the most memorable so we should just forget it, concentrate on what can be achieved – new spirit, a Champions League slot and the UEFA Cup – and ignore any gloating from the Other Place. On the evidence of Saturday, it might not be too long before we are testing what They are made of.