REPORTS of Neil Lennon’s new mellower style appeared to have been greatly exaggerated after he picked up a yellow card from referee Greg Aitken in Sunday’s win over Kilmarnock, with the Celtic manager voicing his displeasure in his trademark forthright manner with the official after his award of a penalty against Scott Brown.

Replays showed that what had looked a dubious award in real-time was in fact an infringement by the Celtic captain, but, presuming along with the majority inside the ground that Aitken had erred, Lennon gave both barrels to fourth official Bobby Madden.

In fairness, that eruption of temper has been out of step with Lennon’s approach since his return to the Celtic dugout on the whole, and one man who is well placed to compare the Lennon’s of old and new is goalkeeper Fraser Forster, who has now played under him at the club during both of his spells in charge.

While he agrees that Lennon is now cooler in his approach to management, he says there is no way that his competitive fire has waned, and nor would he want it to.

“The manager has changed a bit and mellowed a bit,” he said.

“He’s just so good at speaking to players and pulling them for a chat.

“That has always been a strength of his, he just knows who needs shouted at to get a reaction, or who needs an arm around the shoulder.

“He knows when to grab players for a chat and install that confidence and belief in the squad. It means when they go out on the pitch, they give their all.

“For me, he’s always been fantastic. He was the first time and since coming back, it feels like I’ve never been away. I can’t speak highly enough of him.

“He 100 percent still has that hunger and desire to win. Maybe at times he is a bit calmer now and doesn’t let outside influences get to him as much maybe. But his desire to win is still second to none and that rubs off on the lads.

“Even in training, in the fives, he makes sure everyone wants to win. He sets the standards and you know what he expects.

“I don’t think anyone ever wants to lose that fire. Ultimately that’s the reason why he was such a good player and such a good manager. He’s got that hunger and desire inside of him.

“Whether you are a player or a manager, that not something you’d ever want to lose. I don’t know what way you’d go if you did lose that.

“As a player, being here, he knew what was expected. We all know you need to win when you are at a club like this.

“You can’t accept defeat. You can’t even accept a draw. Every week you are expected to win. That’s the standard that’s required at being at a club of this nature.”

As it turned out, Forster saved the resultant penalty kick from Kilmarnock’s Alan Power on Sunday in any case, and given his stunning track record, that wasn’t really too much of a surprise.

Forster has now kept 13 of the 34 penalties he has faced in his career out of the net, saving 38 percent of all spot-kicks he has faced.

“It’s a nice stat but I need to get it up a bit!” he said.

“There’s not really a secret to it, we just work hard on them in training. We don’t work on penalties every day in training but we do it now and again. I will also have a chat with Woodsy (Stevie Woods, Celtic goalkeeping coach) about a few things and work on it.

“The more you face, the more ideas you get, but I go with my gut feeling.

“There are little tell-tale signs of what the striker is going to do but more often than not, it’s a feeling.

“You back yourself and hopefully you go the right way and save it.

“Ultimately, that’s what I am there to do - make a couple of saves. At some point, I am going to be worked and there were two late chances for Killie.

“Thankfully, they both went my way, because that was a really important three points for us after a European game.”

That comeback win over Kilmarnock was all the more impressive from Celtic due to those Europa League exertions in France three days earlier that Forster mentions, earning an impressive 1-1 draw in their group opener against Ligue 1 high-flyers Stade Rennais.

The on-loan Southampton keeper has now challenged his teammates to maintain their levels even in the midst of such a hectic schedule.

“That’s the standards we’ve set,” he said. “There’s enough experience in the squad to know that it’s hard after those Europa group games to travel back and perform.

“We know what’s required.”