Clyde 2-1 Celtic is a day that won’t ever be forgotten.
It’s not the fact it was Roy Keane’s debut or the effective end of Du Wei’s Celtic career just as it was starting. It was the sheer horror of the fact that Celtic’s multi-million-pound stars couldn’t turn up at Broadwood and just get the job done.
The captain that day was our current manager Neil Lennon. He played in all 90 minutes of the painful loss in Cumbernauld.
Paul Lawson, meanwhile, was an unused substitute that day. And speaking to Football Scotland back in May about the occasion, he told of how Lenny slammed the players post-match.
“In the dressing-room afterwards there was a lot of anger from the manager Gordon Strachan and a few players.
“Then we went back to Celtic Park and there was more of the same. Lenny as captain had plenty to say, as you’d expect, and there was talk of falling below the high standards expected of the club and the fans.
“It was a result that made an impact all over the world of football, but in retrospect it was a blip as Strachan went on to be a very successful manager and win three titles in a row.”
Lennon’s experience should only bode well for the current group
You can just imagine Lennon in that dressing room at full-time in Broadwood. He wouldn’t have missed any targets, Keane included. It was possibly the most embarrassing result in Celtic’s long and illustrious history.
However, fast forward 14 years and it should prove to be beneficial for today’s group. Lenny’s experience of that horrid day will no doubt be explained in detail to the players. His furious reaction to the result will also surely ensure that there is no complacency in the current bunch.
For those who don’t remember, the scoreline on the day could’ve been a lot worse. Clyde had two close offside calls as they stuck the ball in the net a further two times. Being on the end of a 4-1 humiliation was a real possibility, nevermind the two we got away with. That’s not even mentioning their missed penalty either.
Celtic went into the game with Du Wei and Stephen McManus at the back. Fortunately, our centre-back partnership looks a lot less ropey now with Christopher Jullien and Kris Ajer in there. However, both men are capable of moments of sloppiness, and that can’t be on show at Broadwood.
We can count ourselves extremely fortunate to have a manager who’s experienced such a low in his footballing career. After all, it was Neil’s job to be the team’s on-field leader – he’ll have had more responsibility than anyone to call players out after the game. Another Clyde defeat just wouldn’t be worth thinking about.
And when we step out onto the pitch in Cumbernauld next month, you can bet that the players will be fully aware of the task at hand.