Celtic manager Neil Lennon will pass on the chance to send his team a warning from history ahead of their William Hill Scottish Cup clash with Clyde – because the memories are too painful.
Lennon captained Celtic in one of the biggest shock defeats of their history when they lost 2-1 to Clyde at Broadwood 14 years ago.
Roy Keane and China defender Du Wei were making their debuts in a strong Celtic line-up which also featured the likes of John Hartson, Shaun Maloney and Shunsuke Nakamura, but Clyde raced to a two-goal half-time lead despite missing a penalty and having two goals controversially disallowed.
Du Wei never reappeared again in a Celtic strip after a torrid first half but Gordon Strachan’s holders could not find a way back against the then First Division side.
When asked whether he had brought up the game with his players as a cautionary tale, Lennon said: “No. That’s a long, long time ago. I don’t really want to bring it up, for my own personal reasons. It was a bit of a sore one.
“I remember it well. You try not to remember the defeats. But that wasn’t one of the better days.”
When asked what could go wrong on such occasions, Lennon said: “The opposition are hugely motivated and sometimes conditions can play a part on the day.
“We have just got to make sure we are focused and we are not going to take the game lightly. We have to make sure we are professional about it and make sure we are in the next round.”
Conditions could play their part at Broadwood on Sunday with winds of close to 60 miles per hour forecast and Lennon has warned his players not to take anything for granted as they continue their quest for a fourth consecutive Scottish Cup triumph.
“We are not going to take it lightly,” he said. “We are cup holders and we want to defend the trophy vigorously. Make sure we are concentrated, focused and ready for the game.”
Clyde, who sit eighth in League One, have several well-known faces in their line-up including former Dundee United and Scotland striker David Goodwillie, who has 22 goals this season, and ex-Rangers winger Gregg Wylde.
They also have two names which are very familiar to the Celtic support – midfielders Chris McStay and Raymond Grant, who are the sons of former long-serving Hoops midfielders Paul McStay and Peter Grant.
And in Danny Lennon they have a manager who got the better of Celtic in the cup before, leading St Mirren to League Cup success in 2013 after a semi-final win over the current Hoops manager’s team.
When asked if he was surprised his namesake was not managing at a higher level, the Celtic boss said: “I am, he did some great things at St Mirren. He is a football man and tactically astute as well. So he will have a game plan.”
Celtic are on a roll in 2020, scoring 17 goals in five consecutive league wins after beating Partick Thistle in the fourth round.
“We will make a few changes for sure but not too many,” Lennon said. “You don’t want to overdo it but there’s a few players bubbling under, the likes of Ryan (Christie), who could do with a game, (Mohamed) Elyounoussi is coming back to fitness, he may need some game time as well. We will still go strong.”
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