When Scott Sinclair finally signed on the dotted line after weeks of pursuit by manager Brendan Rodgers, little did he know what to expect on his Celtic debut.
Having completed his £3.2M move from Aston Villa the day before, it was doubtful if the striker would be fit enough to earn a place even on the bench for the Bhoys’ opening league fixture at Tynecastle.
But knowing the player like he does, Brendan thought he was worth the gamble and named Scott among the substitutes.
Celtic had taken the lead early on when James Forrest curled a left foot shot past Hamilton in the Hearts goal, only to see his effort cancelled out by a blatant piece of diving by Jamie Walker who then got up to score the resultant penalty on 35 minutes.
The Celtic players and fans were incensed that referee Beaton allowed himself to be conned by Walker.
But Brendan didn’t let that incident put him off the job in hand and decided to make a substitution and go three at the back in an effort to take all three points, taking off O’Connell and putting on Tom Rogic.
And it paid dividends, big time.
With nine minutes remaining, Scott Sinclair a 61st minute substitute for Stuart Armstrong cleared a Hearts corner to Leigh Griffiths who picked up the ball thirty yards out and took it for a run almost the length of the pitch.
As he curled a low left foot cross into the middle of the home sides box, Scott SInclair, who’d sprinted a full seventy yards was there to flick the ball into the net to make it 2-1 to the champions.
Brendan then took off attacker Leigh Griffiths, and put on defender Saidy Janko to revert to a back four again to see the game out.
That win, the goal by Scott Sinclair, the tactical nous of Brendan Rodgers and unfortunately, the incompetence of the referee, were all a sign of how the season would unfold for us.
When we took to the pitch in Edinburgh on the 8th of August last year, we did so as Champions, tomorrow, we’ll be doing the same again, only this time, retaining our status as the best team in the country.