All of the Celtic squad were given a DVD after training yesterday. The footage contained 90 minutes with the power to make the hairs stand up on the back of their necks. Most of them starred in it. Manager Neil Lennon decided it would be a good idea if each of them relived the night of November 7, 2012: Celtic 2, Barcelona 1.
Celtic face Kilmarnock today and are in for training tomorrow and on Monday. By the time they once again run out against Barcelona inside a tumultuous Parkhead on Tuesday their heads will be full of the tactical minutiae Lennon hopes will give them a chance of coping with the Spanish champions' thrilling form. They will know, by then, what he believes they will have to do to frustrate and suffocate Neymar, Alexis Sanchez, Pedro, Xavi, Andres Iniesta or anyone else in the supporting cast to the incomparable Lionel Messi. They will know, too, what he wants them to do with corners and set-pieces in the hope of hurting Barcelona just as they did when scoring three times against them over 180 minutes last year. There will be a video edit done on Gerardo Martino's side in an attempt to find chinks in their armour.
But the here-and-now of this Celtic team, this Barcelona team, this Champions League group, can wait. The DVD distributed yesterday featured some guys who will not be around to help this time: Victor Wanyama and Tony Watt - the goalscorers 10 months ago - Kelvin Wilson and Miku. Barcelona have a new coach and in Neymar a superb talent who cost £48m. But Lennon wants his players to be reminded of the sights and sounds of that night of Glasgow pandemonium, and of how they dealt with Barcelona and exposed their weaknesses. He wants to get it into their heads that even this remarkable team can be beaten if Celtic get everything, absolutely everything, just right.
"What I've done with the players is give them a copy of last year's game and I want them to study it," he said. "I don't think it will change that much from last year to Tuesday night. It's not necessarily about how good they were, but what they have to do. What they have to do to get a result, and that it can be done.
"The concentrations levels and intensity they'll have to play with: I'll need to remind them of that. I don't want them going into the game cold. I think in the main the players know what's coming. I just want them to be ready. Sometimes you get little reminders in games you forget about, certain instances, maybe set-pieces or attacking play they had and what they did, how they shaped up. It's more of a reminder than anything else."
Barcelona are so revered that they seem familiar, but Lennon feels at a disadvantage because he has not had the opportunity to watch them. On Tuesday, and again today, their fixtures clashed with Celtic's.
It felt pretty incongruous to be asking Lennon and Kris Commons about beating Barcelona in the aftermath of them losing at home to Morton. Such is football. Celtic's night may well end up in defeat again on Tuesday but nearly every aspect of the two fixtures will be otherwise incomparable.
Supporters are anxious about whether Celtic have the forward who can score any of the very few chances likely to come their way against Barcelona, having failed to convert any of their 25 attempts on goal against Morton. "I am confident we can score but the difficulty is getting the ball back off Barcelona," said Commons. "Technically they are wizards. You can't get the ball off them and their touch is instant. You are possibly playing against the best attacking team the world of football has ever seen. You have to be mentally tuned in to your defensive duties - the entire team, not just the back four. If we do get a chance or two, we really have to take them. If we can defend for our lives and do what we did in previous games, where we took our chances, then we have got a great chance of winning.
"Whether it is Celtic, AC Milan, Ajax, whoever is playing Barcelona, you are very, very lucky to get more than 30-35% of the ball. It's not just us. We looked at Chelsea a couple of years back in the games they played, and they were still at about 35-37% possession. You are looking at some of the best clubs in the world, and they still don't get the ball.
"It's not like you can get in their faces and put them under pressure. They don't feel pressure. Their first touch is instant and, if you start running round like a lunatic or think 'right we will get after these players' they pick you off so quickly and you are 1-0 down. You are thinking 'one mistake, slipping out of position, you are 1-0 down, it's game over and you are done'." So Celtic need to play the perfect game, then? "Exactly."
It has to be said that Kilmarnock did not get much of a mention at this press conference held to discuss Kilmarnock. Human nature dictated that thoughts, questions and answers repeatedly leapfrogged the immediate fixture. "I'm not looking beyond tomorrow," said Lennon at one point. "And I've made it clear to the players that anyone who has their eye on Tuesday won't play Tuesday."
If he sticks too rigidly to that he could have 11 empty shirts against Barcelona. His hardest task today will be to crowbar the Champions League out of their heads and make room for Kilmarnock.