Lennon determined Celtic are not atrocious against Caley – again

The Celtic manager, Neil Lennon, is taking nothing for granted tonight as he seeks to avoid another cup upset at the hands of Inverness.

In February 2000, the Hoops infamously lost 3-1 at home in a Scottish Cup third-round tie to Caley, then a First Division club, which signalled the end of John Barnes' reign at Celtic. And in March 2003, Lennon himself was in the team which lost 1-0 at Inverness in the same competition.

Going into tonight's Co-operative Insurance Cup third-round tie at home to Terry Butcher's side, the Parkhead manager admitted he would field a strong starting XI to make sure there was no embarrassing repeat.

"Obviously they have history with us, they had a great result 10 years ago and they turned us over in 2003," Lennon said. "It's obviously a different set of circumstances with a different set of players, but Inverness will come and have a go.

"I am just pleased it's a home tie. I won't be diluting the team too much, I will be putting out a pretty strong team. There's a few carrying bumps and bruises and some players need some game time, but that's not taking Inverness lightly. The players coming in are quality players and we will have a strong team."

Lennon revealed his fondness for the much-maligned cup competition and insists it is even more important in the absence of any more European football this season.

"The Co-operative Insurance Cup has been good to me," the Irishman said. "It was my first trophy I won as a Celtic player and my first as the captain. All the competitions are important for us.

"Now we are out of Europe it has become more prominent in our thoughts and it's one that we would like to win. It is part of the treble and that doesn't happen very often.

"I was fortunate enough to win one in my first season but it takes a lot [to win it]. We are talking well ahead of ourselves here.

"I have been on the end of a few upsets over the years and it's not nice – and I don't want that to happen so early in the season.

"We have to have the right approach, the right attitude and do the basics well and hopefully the quality will come through eventually. We are in a good frame of mind and we are looking forward to it."

Scott Brown and James Forrest are out with ankle injuries, while Paddy McCourt is also absent and will have a scan on the shoulder injury picked up in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League win at Kilmarnock on Sunday.

"It is frustrating for him and for us," Lennon said. "He has actually popped his other shoulder twice.

"I don't know what he was doing then but he popped it out against Kilmarnock and it popped back in. We are hoping it won't be too long-term."

Lennon also revealed he has had his first look at the youngster Gustavo Ruelas, who is in Scotland with a view to signing a loan deal from the Mexican side Santos Laguna.

He added: "We've seen him today for the first time and he will be here for a wee while, a month or two. We've had very good reports and he did very well at training."

Meanwhile Derek McInnes has signed a two-year contract extension as St Johnstone manager, the Premier League club announced yesterday. McInnes and his assistant Tony Docherty have committed themselves to the Perth club until 2013.

It is a welcome boost for Saints – who won their first league match of the season last Saturday with a 2-1 victory over St Mirren – going into last night's match with Queen of the South in the Co-operative Insurance Cup third round.

McInnes was appointed St Johnstone boss in November 2007 after Owen Coyle's departure to Burnley. The former Scotland midfielder led Saints to the 2009 First Division title and secured top-flight survival last term with an eighth-placed finish.

McInnes said: "I'm really grateful to the chairman for the opportunity he gave me in November 2007 and now to have our futures settled, allowing us to concentrate on the job in hand.

"I never anticipated it would be a problem. The chairman knew I wanted to extend my stay. It was just a case of sitting down and getting it done.

"We want to make sure we are an established SPL club. Remember, we had been out of the top division for seven years. We want to improve gradually year on year to enter the top six."

News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Sport
Dave Mackay lifts the FA Cup in 1967 having skippered Spurs to victory
football
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn