Dismal Hearts provide clarity for new Celts like Adam Idah, you’ll get no favours

Adam Idah naively thought that his assist for fellow new Bhoy Nicolas Idah up at Pittodrie earlier this month meant that a debut draw for the pair had contributed to a decent result away from home for Celtic.

He soon discovered that that was far from the case and a subsequent draw last weekend, this time at Celtic Park against Kilmarnock has send shock-waves through the Celtic cause. Today Celtic take the field FIVE points behind theRangers after an inform Hearts team conceded FIVE times without reply in the most predictable outcome of any round of Scottish Premiership fixtures.

Had Celtic won this two games – and we should have – then today we’d be a point behind and heading to Motherwell knowing a win would take us back to the top of the league. That reality has sunk in to at least one of our new signings – last weekend Callum McGregor questioned whether the project signings from last summer and indeed the two January arrivals had actually grasped what it means to play for Celtic with the pressure to win every game.

The Irish international striker, on loan from Norwich City, has stated that he’s got there and concedes that playing for Celtic is entirely different to life as a Norwich player. The pressure levels at Celtic are off the scale and Adam Idah reckons that he now gets it.

“You have to be up for it and know how to deal with it,” Idah said, as reported by Daily Record. “I know there’s a lot of it here. But that’s why you play the game. There’s obviously a big difference between Norwich and Celtic. In my first game at Aberdeen we drew and I thought: ‘OK, that’s a decent result.’ But I know now it definitely wasn’t! The demand here is what it should be because it’s such a big club.

“The more I’m around the city I realise that it’s all football here, which is good. It’s intense but it’s such a huge club so the demand to win is there every week. I admit, I’m not used to it. It’s not like in England where you can get a draw here and there.

“Up here, you need to win every game. That’s a big difference for me which is understandable. It’s a great learning curve for me. To have that mentality of needing to win every game is good. And the lads who have been here for a while understand that’s the case. Can we handle it? A hundred per cent. There are obviously some new lads who have come in from other countries.

“But no matter where you are, there will always be some sort of pressure. It might not be as much as it is here but people deal with it in their own way. Now’s the time where as a team, a staff and club overall, we have to focus on our goals and get through it. But I’m loving it here. Everyone has been great with me, training is good and I’m getting games. I’m enjoying life in Glasgow.”

Brendan Rodgers changed his shape for the Scottish Cup tie at St Mirren to restore Kyogo to the starting line-up and keep Idah in the team. Kyogo got the opener that day with Idah’s only two goals coming at Easter Road in his second game for the club, both from the penalty spot. The Irishman is happy to play alongside Kyogo and we are likely to see more of that partnership in action today at Fir Park.

“I’m enjoying playing with Kyogo. I think we suit each other quite well. We can both play the No.9 role or drop into midfield. We switched a few times last weekend and no one had told us to do that – we just have a good connection on the pitch.

“Kyogo knows where I’m going to go and I’m the same with him. We definitely can’t speak to each other because of the language barrier. But it has just happened. We both know where each other is going to be and what runs we are going to make. It helps the team that we’re quite versatile in our movements.

“I’m a big strong type who can hold the ball up and he’s a little, nippy, shape centre-forward – so we complement each other well. He’s a joy to play alongside because when the ball comes into me I know where Kyogo is going to be. He’s similar to Buendia who I played with at Norwich. He’s always trying to create something.”

Hearts gave the new Celtic players some clarity yesterday afternoon and it’s an important message that each and every one of these Celtic players simply must heed. They are going to have to do this all by themselves and that means, if they want to rescue this season, win every single match between today’s at Fir Park and the Scottish Cup Final.

David Watson of Kilmarnock scores with a header to tie the score 1-1 during time added on after 90 minutes. Celtic v Kilmarnock, Cinch Scottish Premiership, – 17 February 2024. Photo Stuart Wallace/Shutterstock

Wins change the mood and at the moment the Celtic family is not in a good place. Doing something about that starts today, as Idah appreciates.

“The lads have been through this before, it’s part of the game to have ups and downs. We’re all professionals and we know how to deal with it. We’ve spoken about it, it’s not the first time it has happened and we’re still confident. This type of thing happens in football and for me it’s exciting. I like this pressure, it’s what you want as a player. You have to enjoy it and see what happens.”

Here’s how Hearts performed at Ibrox yesterday as theRangers extended their lead to five points. Anything other than a Celtic victory today is unthinkable.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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