IT could be argued that the grumps and groans when Neil Lennon was appointed as Celtic manager is testament to the short memories that exist in football. That many of those gripes were based on the notion that the brand of football Lennon would adopt would be a backward step after two and half years under Brendan Rodgers, was one of the main sticks used to beat him with.

Not wanting to halt the forward momentum of Celtic is a legitimate view, but the counter argument to predictions of drudgery and dull football to follow Lennon’s permanent appointment can be found in the stats.

In his first two full Premiership seasons as Celtic manager after his initial appointment in 2010, Celtic bagged 85 goals and 84 respectively. The Celtic side in Rodgers’ first season in charge bagged 106 league goals, but that had regressed to 73 by the next season. So, Lennon’s record hardly one that screams of conservatism.

Now, after a period as interim boss – just as he had before becoming permanent manager first time around – Lennon has vowed to restore his method of attacking football now that the reins are securely in his hands once more.

"I will probably more hands-on now,” Lennon said.

"In Damien (Duff) and John (Kennedy), we have energy and good coaching. I can come and add my bit when needed.

"There will be personnel changes and I would also like to change the purpose of our play a bit more. The team liked to control games a certain way last season. I'd like it be more attacking-minded from the off really.

"The changes I want to make are hopefully to make the team better. Did we score enough goals last season? Can we get more? Can we be more purposeful in the attacking third?

"Defensively we were excellent, especially in the second half of the season, and I want that to continue. But I would like us to be more prolific and create more chances.

"That is nothing to do with Brendan. He is an attack-minded coach. But you can be attack-minded in different ways.

"We had an attacking team in my first spell at Celtic. We had an attacking team at Hibs. I want to bring that here. We have attacking players and I would maybe like to quicken the tempo at times.

"I want to get the ball forward into the strikers and wide men quicker, that's all.

"I want us to create more excitement and goal chances, rather than control the game passively. I want us to be more purposeful in possession.”

How he achieves that will likely be by pushing his full-backs high and perhaps even adopting two men up front when the occasion calls for it.

"There will be times when I want to go with two strikers, there's no question about that,” he said.

"I've not seen whether Odsonne (Edouard) plays better off a striker but we've probably not had the chance. He did very well as the lone striker and he took on that responsibility very well.

"Odsonne was the one fit, quality, bona fide striker that we had in the final stretch of the season. I know what I have with Odsonne and there is a lot more to come from him.

"He is only 21 so there is a lot of scope for development there.

"You need to be flexible. Maybe at different times, we will use different systems against certain opposition. That's something I will look to work on in pre-season.

"It's a matter of finding a formation that suits all the personnel.

"At Hibs, 3-5-2 worked really well with the midfield we had. But mostly, I'd expect a back four.”

The Neil Lennon of 2019 certainly seems a great deal more at ease with himself in the role than he did some nine years ago when he first stepped into the dugout. But while he may be calmer, wiser, and more aware of the pitfalls than before, that shouldn’t be mistaken for the extinguishing of the trademark fire that has been a constant factor in his successes, and more than an occasional factor in scrapes with authority.

"It's hard to compare how I feel now to my first spell as manager,” he said.

"But I don't think the anticipation or excitement changes, the closer you get to kick-off time. It's building but I am older and more rounded now.

"That was nine years ago, so I feel a little bit different. I know the environment better and there is a familiarity. I know the people behind the scenes and what is required.

"I feel comfortable, but I am also very aware of the pressures this job brings.

"I am excited, and I am happy. I'm as content as I have been in a long time.

"I probably won't be five minutes into the first game, but everything has been very calm.

"We are pushing in the right direction and we are excited about the players we can bring in to add to what we have. It just feels calm on a professional basis. I am very content.

"You never lose that fire. We are competitors and we want to win. That is my remit - to win.

"That's what Celtic is about and I have been here for nearly 20 years now. You never lose that.

"Maybe it manifests myself in different ways, but I can still lose my temper.

"I will set standards and make demands, and outline new priorities and targets.

"The league is the number one priority but it's way too early to think about that just now.”