AS Celtic’s title-winning streak gets closer to that all-important ninth title in a row, and just at a point where the tales of Rangers’ resurgence to be a force to contend with may not seem quite so exaggerated as in the recent past, it is perhaps only natural that more than a few among their support are starting to get a little nervous.

Neil Lennon, knowing these parts as he does, fully understands that, and he would not be surprised if winning the league this season was rather higher on the list of supporters’ priorities than a lengthy run in the Europa League. In fact, he is aware that a great deal of them may well sacrifice European football after Christmas if it was to hamstring their title bid in any way, shape or form.

He, however, isn’t thinking that way, feeling his team and his wider squad have more than enough about them to compete on all fronts. That’s why there has been minimal tinkering to his starting line-up between the competitions despite the quick turnarounds involved, and why there is unlikely to be a shift in that strategy going forward.

When asked though if supporters would see the Europa League as being as important as lifting the Premiership title this season, Lennon said: “I think most fans would say no. I think they would see the league as a priority, and I get that.

“While you’re in it though you’ve got to compete and do the club’s reputation well. I think it’s good for the players’ development as well.

“If I said to some players that I was going to leave them out against Lazio [on Thursday night] because we’ve got Aberdeen on the Sunday, I’d have a few expletives coming at me.

“We went Stockholm to Rangers and made one change, Rennes to Kilmarnock we made one change.

“We played so well against Cluj and when players are playing so well it’s hard to leave them out, they are in a match rhythm and confident.

“Things didn’t go for us at Livingston, the red card was a big turning point, and it’s a difficult venue to go and win a game anyway.

“We’re only eight games into the season domestically. We’ve played a lot in Europe, but I think Lazio at home, there will be plenty of players knocking on the door wanting to be picked.

“Sometimes you go horses for courses. For these games though, I think you put out what you perceive to be your strongest team.”

That team seems to be the one that started both matches in the Europa League group stage so far, with the same 11 taking to the field in Rennes and at Celtic Park when Cluj returned to town.

“It’s worked so far,” said Lennon. “We’ll obviously look at Lazio and if we need to change it accordingly, we will, but I’ve been delighted with the two performances so far.”

If Lennon gets a third performance from his men on Thursday evening, and they are able to defeat Lazio at Celtic Park, it will put them in a strong position to qualify for the knockout phase of the competition.

It may seem strange to say it, but in recent times it has been Celtic’s home form that has let them down at times in European competition, whereas they have been fairly solid on the road, having yet to lose a match on the continent this season.

Lennon is keen to redress that balance, having started with a redemptive win over Cluj last time out.

“You’ve got a great chance of qualifying if you win your home games, so that’s the idea,” he said.

“It’s not a foregone conclusion, but that’s the theory behind the madness if you want to call it that.

“We need to try and maximise home advantage in the group and we’ve got off to a good start with regards to the Cluj game.

“It was a good result and a good performance and I am hoping for more of the same against a quality side.

“We know what the atmosphere is going to be like and we can feed off that.”