IT is perhaps only when you scrutinize Neil Lennon’s cup record as Celtic manager that the achievements of Brendan Rodgers in the domestic trophies can be fully appreciated. As the current interim boss at Celtic Park can testify, no matter the financial advantages you may enjoy over your rivals, it is far from easy to sweep the board.

When Rodgers left Celtic with an unblemished record in cup competitions, picking up a Scottish record 24 consecutive wins, Lennon answered the call with the priority being to ensure an eighth league title in a row. He would seem to have met that criteria in functional if not fashionable style by consolidating and indeed widening their lead at the top of the table.

Now though, it seems as though his prospects of landing the Celtic job could hinge upon – although will not be guaranteed by - delivering a third successive treble by landing the Scottish Cup. And despite winning two of those during his previous stint as Celtic manager - seeing off Motherwell in 2011 and Hibernian in 2013, each by a 3-0 scoreline - that may be a prospect that will send a shiver up the 47-year-old’s spine, given that those successes are his only two in nine attempts at lifting silverware in knockout competition. But is talk of Lennon having something of a ‘Hampden hoodoo’ fair?

Well, it certainly could be a little unfair to include the disastrous Scottish Cup semi-final exit to Ross County in 2010 in those statistics given that he was only four games into his first caretaker stint as manager following the end of the calamitous Tony Mowbray era, but the side that day still included the likes of Scott Brown, Robbie Keane and Aiden McGeady. And after all, being judged upon his performance as an interim boss is exactly the criteria whereby he is auditioning for the permanent gig at present, albeit having inherited a kinder hand this time around.

Lennon’s first full season brought the Scottish Cup triumph against Motherwell in May, but there was another Hampden hiccup as they lost the League Cup final to arch-rivals Rangers after a Nikica Jelavic goal in extra-time gave the Ibrox men a 2-1 win.

Season 2011/12 brought a return of the league title to Celtic Park, but neither cup could be claimed as Lennon’s side lost twice at the national stadium. Firstly, they went down to a late Dieter van Tornhout goal as Kilmarnock claimed the League Cup, before they crashed out of the Scottish Cup at the semi-final stage in controversial fashion to Hearts.

A Gary Hooper header in the 87th minute had levelled the match after Rudi Skacel’s opener for Hearts, only for referee Euan Norris to award the Tynecastle men an injury-time penalty after a Marius Zaliukas shot struck the arm of Joe Ledley.

Former Celtic striker Craig Beattie converted before setting off on a topless lap of Hampden, but Lennon set off on his own infamous rampage moments after the whistle as he raced onto the pitch to confront Norris, later tweeting; “Feel so sorry for players and fans... I think it’s personal myself.”

The Scottish Cup was reclaimed in the next season with the triumph over Hibs, but there was another embarrassing exit at the semi-final stage of the League Cup as St Mirren came out on top of a five-goal thriller on their way to lifting the trophy.

While the league was again captured in 2013/14, the season represented the nadir of Lennon’s performance in the cup competitions, with the humiliation of defeat to Morton - second bottom of the Championship at the time - at the first hurdle of the League Cup at Celtic Park. Lennon had rested several first-team regulars, but a side including the future most expensive defender in the world, Virgil van Dijk, were put to the sword by a Dougie Imrie penalty.

The Scottish Cup looked to be going rather better as Celtic opened up with a 7-0 trouncing of Hearts at Tynecastle, but any notions of redemption for the Morton debacle were soon put to bed as there was more pain on home turf at the hands of Aberdeen in the fifth round.

Anthony Stokes hit an early opener for Celtic, but goals from Russell Anderson and Peter Pawlett made sure that Lennon’s patchy cup record would not be improved before he resigned his position at the end of the season.

While this doesn’t make for good reading, supporters of Lennon may point out that he did manage to win the league in three of his four seasons in charge of the club previously, and that would be a fairer barometer by which to judge his suitability for the role a second time around.

The success of Rodgers though has raised the bar, not only in terms of what is expected to be delivered into the trophy cabinet each season, but by the expectation of a so-called ‘big-name’ to be managing the club.

Therefore, meeting at least one of these criteria will be the yardstick by which Lennon’s prospects are assessed, meaning another cup upset on Sunday will be a blemish too far on his record to secure a second permanent stint in the dugout.