IF ever there was irrefutable evidence that spats between the boardroom and the dugout don’t correlate with on-field success, or the lack of it, then it would have been Wim Jansen’s single season as head coach of Celtic.

It would be fair to say that Jansen, the club’s then chairman Fergus McCann and general manager Jock Brown, didn’t always see eye to eye.

So much so, that 48 hours after delivering one of the most celebrated titles in the club’s history - and denying Rangers 10 in-a-row in the process - the Dutchman announced he had stepped down from his role, citing irreconcilable differences with the men upstairs.

Paul Lambert joined the club in the November of that season and had more reason than most to be acutely aware of the rancour that existed between Jansen and Brown. After all, the midfielder admitted himself that he almost never came to Celtic from Borussia Dortmund, having been told that Brown didn’t believe he was good enough.

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Thankfully for Celtic, Jansen won out in that argument, and the rest is history. But the story of that season serves as a lesson, Lambert believes, in how inconsequential the relationship between the board and the manager is to the players when they cross that white line.

There is nothing to suggest that the relationship between Brendan Rodgers and the current board is anywhere near as fractious as the one between those in the class of ’97, but rumblings from the manager about the lack of quality additions to his squad in the summer have sown some seeds of doubt over how harmonious things currently are behind the scenes at Celtic.

Whatever the truth of the matter may be, Lambert says that ultimately, it actually doesn’t matter. Or, more pointedly, that it shouldn’t.

“What goes on upstairs doesn’t affect you on the pitch really,” Lambert said.

“You don’t really pay attention to that or read any significance into that stuff really or listen to it.

“You need to be mentally strong and not really listen to what is being said in the outside world. You have to bounce back from adversity and not get caught up in the hysteria of what is happening outside.

“Football players have always needed to have mental strength. The weaker ones won’t be able to handle it, but the top players will handle it, and Celtic have got loads of top players who will handle what is going on there.”

Handling the internal politics of a football club is one thing, but handling the external pressure put on your shoulders by fans of a club of Celtic’s stature and expectations is quite another.

Lambert though sees enough experience in the current Celtic dressing room to shoulder that too in the coming weeks.

“I have no doubts about them,” he said.

“They have played in front of the crowd before, and they know exactly what is required.

“You have to win, that is the standard of the club, and that was set way, way back with teams like the Lions and the success they had.

“So, if you get that jersey, you know exactly what you are signing up for, and you have got to be able to handle it.

“It’s important though that they do bounce back as quick as they can. When you sign for Celtic, that is the gig, you can’t lose, or you’ll be out. You know exactly what you are signing up to. The lads will know they have got to go and win games, and they will sort it themselves.

“Some might not be used to it, and some may struggle to handle it, but Celtic if they collectively stick together then they will be fine.

“The manager will be totally fine too, and the board will back him, I have got no doubt about that.”

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There are many within the Celtic support who do not currently have such unshakeable belief in their team, and who have gone from relishing the forthcoming Old Firm derby as an opportunity to underline their dominance over Rangers, to eying the game anxiously as their rivals enjoy something of a resurgence under Philippe Clement.

Lambert isn’t getting carried away by the impact of Clement across the city though, and thinks that factors such as Celtic’s lengthy injury list have been overlooked while assessing their own recent struggles.

“Yeah, they have won the cup and they have had a decent result in Europe, but none of that will matter in an Old Firm game,” Lambert said.

“An Old Firm game takes care of itself, you know?

“Celtic have had a lot of injuries to key players, which has been overlooked. Absolutely. And they are still sitting where they are.

“The Old Firm game will be a big game for everybody. Brendan Rodgers has been involved in so many Old Firm games now, so he will know exactly what to expect. It’s at Celtic Park, it will only be Celtic fans that are in the stadium, so there is a lot of home advantage there for Celtic.

“In the Old Firm game it doesn’t really matter who is in form going into it. Celtic will be ready for it, and I’m pretty sure that Saturday’s game will have hurt them.

"I think you will see them quickly get back to what their level is.”