In any sporting endeavour preparation is the key to success.
“Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” is a mantra allegedly beloved of Roy Keane back in his Saipan days.
He was none too impressed with what passed for preparation in the Irish camp in 2002.
It is a given that successful teams, whatever the code, prepare meticulously.
Therefore, I am not surprised that Sevco had planned for various eventualities as they travelled to Hampden to take on the biggest club in Scotland.
However, one of the areas of preparation was on the PR front.
Apparently, the players were schooled in what today depending on the level of Celtic’s victory.
If it was another 5-1 thrashing then the message was:
“We’re on a journey. We’re back in the top flight; there will inevitably be a period of adjustment.”
However, if it was 2-0 or less to the Hoops then the narrative was:
“The gap has closed. There is a gap there, but it isn’t big.”
I am informed by an impeccable source that a PR guru came into the Sevco dressing room immediately after the match to remind the players of the pre-agreed narrative.
It was very important that no-one was off message in the mixed zone.
Of course, if you’re minding your clients on this important work then it is advisable to stay out of the shot.
I must say that I think the Sevco chaps kept their shape in the mixed zone.
No one was out of position on the gap…