AS a manager, Neil Lennon is very much a believer in the old maxim that a failure to prepare is simply preparation for failure. That is why he is leaving no stone unturned in the pursuit of Europa League progress here in Copenhagen this evening.

As Celtic ready themselves for their first ever competitive match involving VAR, that preparation has extended to briefing his players on the impact that the Video Assistant Referee can have on the outcome of a match, and how wary they will have to be in order not to fall victim to the technology’s prying eyes.

Lennon is hoping that the inexperience of his players of playing in matches where VAR is in operation won’t be a telling factor in the game in Denmark, and he has tried to ensure that it won’t be.

And he is relieved that the protocol will be somewhat different to the system that is currently coming in for severe criticism in the English Premier League, with referee Sergei Karasev charged with reviewing decisions on a pitchside monitor.

For the Celtic players at least then, how they handle their first taste of VAR should be clear and obvious.

“We had a briefing with Crawford Allan [SFA head of referee operations], he came up with Willie Collum and they gave us the lowdown on what to expect,” Lennon said.

“There will be a monitor there and you can’t go near the referee while he’s looking at it. The briefing was a couple of weeks ago. We know what the machinations of that and how it will work.

“The briefing was a help. The referee makes the decision then he has a look at the monitor and sees what he thinks and make a call from there.

“We have to warn them about [appealing to the referee for a review]. All these things are new, and it might take the players a bit by surprise, but we’ll try to prepare them as well as possible for it.

“It is different [from the EPL]. They have a group of people with monitors whereas I think this one is just monitor and different angles of the incident or whatever the situation is, and the referee will make a call from that.

“I think, in the main, our boys are alright with that, but it will all be discussed pre-match.”

Aside from the vexations with VAR, it is a startling statistic that Celtic, as it stands, are the only team who have defeated Lazio in the Stadio Olimpico this season after their Europa League group stage win earlier I the season.

It is little wonder that with the Italian side flying so high in Serie A, defeating Inter Milan at the weekend to move within a point of leaders Juventus, that the stat is a huge source of pride for Lennon.

He knows though that pride can often come before the fall, and he is determined that his side will not live off of past glories, no matter how recent.

The win in Rome gives the Celtic manager confidence, of course, ahead of another difficult assignment on the continent this evening, and he takes satisfaction in the respect with which their opponents in European competition will now hold his team,

“It gives us a huge amount of pride but that was in November,” he said. “Now we are in February.

“It would be great to make inroads in the competition but this is going to be one tough game.

“The psychology of the game is different as well. I’m hoping we bring a big crowd with us and I’m hoping the players perform as well as we did in Rome. If we do, then we’ve got a good chance.

“I think people respect us. That’s pleasing to hear. I respect Copenhagen as well. We got well beaten the last time we were here, when I played, so they have they good European pedigree.

“Stale (Solbakken) has been a mainstay here and he’s a very cute coach. They have a certain style of play and are pretty effective with the way they do it.”

The loss that Lennon references back in 2006 has given him reason to caution his players about what lies ahead of them this evening in what will be an intimidating arena at the Telia Parken.

“We lost 3-1 and it was a tough night,” he said. “We beat them 1-0 in Glasgow and had already qualified from the group when we played here.

“Maybe there wasn’t so much on it. I remember (Jesper) Gronkjaer was playing and they had a good, experienced team. Which is pretty much what you get from Copenhagen. They’ve got a fair amount of talent in their squad as well.

“The atmosphere will be strong and they will make a lot of noise.”