Kilmarnock, who beat Celtic in the 2012 final, fell at the first hurdle last season when they were knocked out at home by second division side Stenhousemuir. Successors St Mirren face a fraught second-round tie away to Queen of the South, second division and Ramsdens Cup winners last season, and Lennon knows there will be many looking at the tie as the likeliest venue for a possible upset.
"Everybody wants to knock out the holders and they go out and raise their game," the St Mirren manager said. "The previous season's winners, Kilmarnock, went out to Stenhousemuir and we don't want to suffer a similar fate so we know we can't afford to drop our standards for a second against a very good Queen of the South side. We'll need to put in a top performance in order to progress and that's what we are focused on doing.
"Winning the cup last season was such a highlight for the club. It was the first time in our history we'd won it and only the fourth time we had won a major trophy. We want more success at that level but nobody hands you trophies on a plate or for free and we know how well we had to play to win the trophy last season. We'll have to work even harder to try to win silverware this season."
St Mirren go into tonight's tie struggling for form having taken only one point from their opening three league matches. Lennon, though, denied he was operating under any extra strain. "Pressure for me is those who are on the front line putting their lives in danger, people who haven't got a roof over their heads, people who have not got food on the table - that's pressure," he added. "What we do is a privilege and it's a challenge, win, lose or draw, to perform and to get to those standards every week that we seek."
Lennon was still hopeful of signing a French striker on a season-long loan, having elected not to take up the option on Artur Rattel, an Estonian forward, after watching him in training. "I'm just waiting to see where we are in terms of a striker coming in. It close on Sunday but I'm hoping it can be arranged soon.
"He's one with presence, great pace, great desire and work ethic, someone who wants to better himself as he is not happy where he is on the fringes of a big club in France. It could happen for the game [tonight] but we'll obviously need to wait for international clearance coming. We have a history and pedigree of using the loan system and once again it's about building relationships with other clubs, helping and developing their player, and in turn he can help us on the goal front."
That is not a unique concern, of course, but one which has been assuaged at Queens in part by the form of Derek Lyle. The striker has been deployed at the apex of the Dumfries side's attack - and is likely to be flanked by Iain Russell and Danny Carmichael tonight - and has settled into the role by scoring five times since the start of the campaign. That tally included a hat trick to overcome Annan Athletic in the last round of the League Cup.
It has afforded Lyle prominence ahead of the visit of St Mirren, although his own focus was on the threat posed by the Premiership side. "We played them in pre-season and they have really good players," said the striker, whose side won 4-3 in that friendly. "They have not had a good start but if they play in their good players and they turn it on then it is going to be really difficult for us. We're not being kidded by the fact they were beaten 3-0 at the weekend there. They are a good side.
"We got a look at [Gary] Harkins in that pre-season game - he was really good that day. It showed us how good they can be, but we don't read anything more into a friendly than that."
Queens will find it harder to ignore their most recent outing, though - a limp loss to Hamilton Academical - and Lyle admitted a cup tie with St Mirren has been informed by a need to return to more impressive form. "If we beat them [tonight] then that would be a major scalp for us," he added. "The boys will be right up for it."