NEIL LENNON needn’t think too long and hard for a cautionary tale to present to his Celtic players about the dangers of their Scottish Cup tie at Clyde tomorrow should he need one, try as he has to forget it.

That fateful day at Broadwood back in 2006, when Roy Keane and, erm, Du Wei made their Celtic debuts and Gordon Strachan’s side were deservedly dumped out of the competition, is seared across his memory.

“I’ve not got happy memories of Clyde. That was a sore one,” Lennon said, as he tries to ensure that his own Celtic side don’t succumb to the same pitfalls that befell the class of ’06.

“We just didn’t turn up and Clyde were very motivated and deserved to win the game. We were all in a bit of shock in the dressing room afterwards. There was a lot of hype about the game with Roy Keane making his debut. Du Wei made his debut too...

“That day things didn’t work out. But it wasn’t the fault of Roy and me. We didn’t play well at all, though.

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“When you lose games like that your sub-conscience tries to block it out. You try not to remember too much about it.

“The aftermath was horrible, horrible. We even had a meeting at the stadium afterwards and a few things were said. It was not very nice.

“Sometimes it happens. But I certainly don’t want it to happen to me as a manager. I lost against Morton in the League Cup and that was a sore one to take. But as regards Sunday, we will focus on that and be professional and respectful of the opposition.

“It’s not a foregone conclusion but we are playing well, and we want to keep that momentum going.

“There was a huge motivation for them that day and I’m sure it’ll be the same this weekend. We’ll have to be very careful. We don’t want to take any chances but there are a couple of players wanting to play, itching to play, so we will think about it over the next few days.

“I’ve not mentioned that game to the players. It was years and years ago. I might bring it up but the way we are playing with the confidence we are showing I don’t think it’s really necessary. But it’s realistic that it can happen now and again.”

The tweaks to his line-up that Lennon mentions may be necessary to rest tired limbs ahead of yet another midweek Premiership card and a clash against Hearts at Celtic Park, but will also afford him the opportunity perhaps to take a more thorough look at his January arrivals, Patryk Klimala and Ismaila Soro, in a competitive fixture.

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“We just have to pick a decent team and go there and win,” he said. “We need to make sure we’re right. We’ll try and rotate the team but not too much.

“Klimala has a chance, as does Soro, who has been training well.

“We have a depth of squad now which is good because we’ve had a long, long injury list. Ryan Christie was out for a month but he’s itching to play.

“Mohammed Elyounoussi was in great form before he got injured too and he’s coming back. Jeremie Frimpong won’t be far away and neither will Nir Bitton.

“Tom Rogic has a little bit of a knee problem which flares up after games, but we have strength in depth in the squad.

“It’s pretty hectic. Recovery is important. I thought we played ever so well on Wednesday night, so that in itself will bring confidence to the group.

“We are getting a few players back from injury as well, which is great. We have started the second half of the season really, really well.”

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Odsonne Edouard may be given a breather for this fixture, with Lennon still basking in the glow of his star man’s performance against Motherwell on Wednesday night.

The better he gets, Lennon knows the more that speculation will intensify over his future at Celtic, with a host of big clubs sure to be keeping tabs on the forward.

His eventual departure, whenever that comes, will likely be soothed by the record fee the club would surely receive for his services, although Lennon isn’t ready to contemplate slapping a price tag on his head just yet.

“Don’t even ask me,” he said. “Leave him be!

“Listen, we know [he’s not going to be here forever] but you’ll have to ask the board what their price on it is. There’s a board meeting on Friday, so maybe I’ll ask them then!

“It’s inevitable he will attract interest. He’s just in a good place and is playing brilliant football. I’m really enjoying working with him.

“He is very easy to manage. We have a good relationship and I just want that to continue.

“That’s 24 goals he’s got now this season, so I’m obviously delighted with his contribution and his talent. At 22, he’s only going to get better.”