Tonight’s trip to Tynecastle will be a breeze for Neil Lennon compared to the visit he made in February.
The Irishman started the week preparing to fly out to Kuwait for some media work but found himself pitched into the midst of a title race after Brendan Rodgers disappeared in the night to Leicester City.
Celtic were forced to move quickly. Rodgers left Lennoxtown on the Monday afternoon never to return, by Tuesday evening Lennon was announced as caretaker boss with trips to Tynecastle and Easter Road within five days to test the resolve of the former Hibs boss.
A late winner from Odsonne Edouard secured the points at Tynecastle with a Scottish Cup win over Hibs a few days providing some breathing space after a whirlwind week.
It could have been the perfect storm as Celtic’s season fell apart but with that experience in the bag Lennon can look forward to tonight’s clash with Hearts.
Recalling the build up to the February match the Celtic boss told the Daily Record:
I’ve had a little bit more time to work with them, get to know them and them get to know me!
It was amazing. I did the press conference at Celtic Park then met the squad. I met most of them for the first time that night.
You were then straight into the game but sometimes that’s a good thing when you don’t have too much time to think about it. I’m not over keen on last-minute goals but you take them. It shows the mentality of the team at times.
Lennon beat Hearts three times in his caretaker role before being given the job on a permanent basis after winning the Scottish Cup against Craig Levein’s side at Hampden.