It’s mid-March already, for some the Scottish Football season seems to be closing in at record pace, for others however the end can’t come quick enough. Two very different points of view and how different the view is when you are top of the league to that of when you are circling the drain at the bottom.
Of course, it’s the same story every season, there’s always the eventuality that someone will become SPL champions and there’s the ever present and rather unfortunate reality that one club will be forced to pack their bags and leave the SPL.
Those more fortunate, notably Celtic and Rangers will fight for glory and the SPL title – I would hate to offend any supporters of the other ten teams in the SPL but I doubt very much the trophy will find itself out with the grasp of the Old firm this season come May, there’s always next year.
Anyway, it’s most likely this fight for glory will last to the bitter the end. I’m sure the helicopter pilot will be advised to wait until the final whistle has been sounded at both matches to ensure there is no repeat of the carbon footprint left by “helicopter Sunday” – as it is affectionately known in some parts of Scotland, in other parts this terminology has been wiped from memory.
The clubs competing for this glory find the season unfolding at a steady pace, panicking to a minimum so as to not upset the apple cart. There must be a state of collected composure and a steady hand as glory edges nearer – I’m not saying this is the case but it is the prototype to success and the type of atmosphere that a manager would want to instil around the club. Each game presents different challenges and they must be met with grit, determination and a champion spirit.
Those where glory lies in the sanctity of SPL survival often find the season moving at a different pace. Almost like a runaway train, with points and games like the train, running away. There certainly is a hint of panic and the idea of a ‘collected composure’ may perhaps be considered as some kind of non-sensical jargon. There is a very different atmosphere within the clubs at the other end of the table.
Following last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at the hands Celtic, Hamilton were presented with the opportunity of a midweek fixture to close the alarming seven point gap between themselves and St. Mirren. An opportunity the Lanarkshire club passed up as a John Daly goal deep into stoppage time at Tannadice reinforced the feeling that Hamilton are the club everyone is expecting to go down. Let’s not write Hamilton off, but with only one point in their last seven league games now it doesn’t look good. Compare that with St. Mirren who have picked up 4 points from their last six games and Aberdeen with a respectable eight points in their last six. From this we can perhaps concede that the deserved bottom club are Hamilton.
Hamilton Manager Billy Reid remains upbeat amid the mounting feeling that his club already have one foot in the First division. Reid insisted “If we [Hamilton] can just turn it around in our favour I’m sure we can get two or three wins in a row. I know that for a fact.” – However some things are easier said than done and if Hamilton are to achieve SPL survival this run of two or three wins on the trot would be welcomed sooner rather than later. Hamilton have made the SPL their home over the past two years but it looks as though the lease could be up come the end of this season.
It’s now been nineteen games since the Accies have chalked up a victory and it’s this run that led one Evening Times reporter to refer to them as “a relegation-haunted club in a confidence crisis” – A worrying synopsis for the club – but one with striking truth.
A more ‘glass is half full’ for the Lanarkshire club would be to look forward positively and with intent on catching St. Mirren as the two sides still to play each other twice before the season comes to an end. Optimism and a bit of luck never hampered anyone in their fight for survival – a remedy the Hamilton Accies will need a rather large dose of if they are to extend their stay in the SPL.