JURGEN KLOPP prioritised a rest over a fourth-round FA Cup replay.

It was left to the Anfield kids to make sure they came through the round, but if the decision drew criticism regarding a lack of respect for the tournament, Neil Lennon could understand the reasons behind it. Not that he is liable to follow in Klopp’s footsteps by ringing massive changes for the Scottish Cup tie against Clyde this afternoon.

“I can [understand it] with the amount of football that they have played,” said Lennon (below). “It is working for him. I don’t know that he will do it against Chelsea [in the next round]. We won’t be making wholesale changes like that. We will look to make changes but not too many. We want to be strong and make sure we negotiate the tie but a few may need a rest and that’s something we’ll think about. I think there are some players who need to play. Ryan [Christie] has only had a few half hours but he is fully fit now and he will definitely come into our thinking for the game.”

Lennon’s side have actually played three more games that the Anfield side; their win over Motherwell was their 44th game of the season so far. It has been a relentless cycle but if Lennon was of a mind, he would consider that the portents look good for Celtic this afternoon. The Parkhead side have seen off all domestic contenders in their treble Treble run, a run that stretches to 31 games without defeat.

If it is indicative of a mentality within the Parkhead dressing room that resonates with Lennon and his memories of a dressing room he shared with the likes of Henrik Larsson, Chris Sutton, John Hartson and Paul Lambert, he is nevertheless wary of assuming that things always go to plan.

“I think sometimes you are born with a winning mentality but also that if you get a taste of it then you always want more. I think that is where these players are at the minute. They know what is at stake and they know the incentives and it is good that we have players in there who have been over the course before. I think we have had a good season so far.

“We have scored a lot of goals, we have been playing well and the motivation is high for the players. We want to keep the momentum going and forge ahead. We are not taking anything for granted and there is no room for complacency.”

Leigh Griffiths is expected to keep hold of a shirt, with the striker pushing his way towards full fitness. Having come in out of the cold since the Parkhead side returned from their winter break in Dubai, Griffiths could well be set to offer Scotland manager Steve Clarke something to think about ahead of the March Euro 2020 qualifying play-off against Israel.

“I don’t think he’s the finished article from where he can get to but he’s getting there and I was really pleased with his performance on Wednesday night [against Motherwell]. He got his goal and he’s improving all the time. It was always there. He’s that natural goalscorer and natural intelligent striker, so you never lose that. Once he got his fitness up to a certain level, you could see he was starting to improve all the time.

“If he stays at the level he’s at, yes [he could be influential for Scotland], but that’s not my decision, that will be down to Steve. He’s just got to continue in the same vein and keep his form and consistency going. The more he plays, the better he’ll get. If he stays injury free as well, that’s important for him.

“I’ve always liked his intelligence as a player and his goal record is fantastic. He just needed a bit of time to get up to a level of fitness. I think he can get fitter, but he’s playing very well. His work rate for the first goal at Fir Park, where he got back and pinched the ball and then we broke. He started all that off, so that’s another string to his bow.”

Lennon doesn’t need to be versed in the dangers of cup shocks. There was the 2006 upset at Clyde when he was captain on Roy Keane’s debut while there was a League Cup defeat to Morton too, his first time in the Celtic dugout. The shock against the Broadwood side will be prescient this afternoon.

“It was just one of those days where you have to suck it up,” said Lennon. “We didn’t play well and we deserved to get beat. It was a big Cup shock and it was a sore one but our reaction was very good to it. They were highly motivated that day and I expect Clyde to be highly motivated again today so we will have to be bang at it. We have to play the conditions and play the pitch as best we can.”