Bravery. Confidence. Character.
Neil Lennon reckons all three traits have been constant travel companions for his Celtic troops throughout their variety of European adventures since the start of the season.
As they prepare to board the flight for Denmark this afternoon to undertake their latest mission, the Parkhead boss has no reasons to doubt they won’t be buried within hold baggage again.
Lennon and his men have shown they have the tools needed to deliver in their Europa League last 32 tie against Copenhagen.
Across the continent this term, the Scottish champions have displayed courage alongside class to chalk up some impressive results.
Celtic have lost just one of seven away games. And that was the dead rubber against CFR Cluj in December when their qualification for this week’s tie was already wrapped up.
From a Sarajevo thunderstorm to the cauldron of Lazio in Rome’s Olympic Stadium, Lennon’s heroes have stood up to be counted.
It’s mentality and ability which has taken them to this stage.
Now, with so much glamour and excitement waiting beyond a tie against the Danes if they can come through, Lennon is banking on his boys to showcase themselves in the best light under Euro scrutiny yet again.
The manager has been buoyed by what he’s seen abroad and also by what’s been on offer from his squad since the mid-winter break.
A sizzling run of nine-straight wins in league and cup has swept them sweetly into the Copenhagen clash and Lennon said: “Psychologically, Aberdeen [on Sunday] was a big win for us in terms of the title.
“That’s what our focus has been on, but now obviously we can turn our focus to Copenhagen and we want to see if we can make any inroads in the Europa League now as well.
“We are playing well enough to do that.
“We have been excellent. They have been brave and have shown an abundance of quiet confidence and character.
“They’ve played very well away from home in Europe and I’m really hoping for more of the same on Thursday.
“That was a hard game on Sunday and we are assessing who is fit and available for Thursday.
“You never park the league when you are in a title race. It’s always at the back of your mind.
‘We have a big game on Sunday against Kilmarnock, who seem to have found their mojo again, so we are not taking anything for granted on that.
“But we have had a think about Copenhagen now. I’ve been able to think about it and we’ll take it from there.”
Switching focus is a skill for the coaching staff right now.
With games coming thick and fast, the windows of opportunity to prepare for each individual test are perilously brief.
This time last week, Lennon was coming up with a way to best dispose of desperate-for-points Hearts in Glasgow’s East End.
Once that was done, it was about finding the formula to see-off a determined Aberdeen in their own Granite City.
Now it’s just three days to whip-up a gameplan to emerge from Scandinavia ahead of the second leg at Parkhead on Thursday week and each task presents a fresh challenge.
Lennon said: “There is so much going on all around us. We can’t take our eye off anything or let our foot slide from the pedal.
‘We will have a chat about things before the game and see how we go about it.
“I’m pleased with what I have seen with the players and very pleased with what I’ve seen of the fitness levels as well.
“It’s a big ask with the amount of games we are playing as well, but Jozo [Simunovic] will be available for the Parken and that’s a bonus.
“We had Nir Bitton back at Pittodrie and Jeremie Frimpong will be available for the first time in the competition as well.”
Lennon, loves getting stuck into the various areas of expertise and there is no doubt Europe floats his boat.
Obviously, winning domestic silverware remains the priority, especially the league title.
However, the continental adventures and chances for the manager and his players to go in against differing oppositions of high standards makes it exciting with the prospect of finding new ways, new plans and new systems.
Lennon’s formation switches have been a feature of Celtic since the winter break and returning to the 4-2-3-1 for the last half hour to win the game at Pittodrie after the 3-5-2 stuttered for the first time in opening hour are evidence of their adaptability.
He said: “It’s the way I have always wanted to manage.
“There were times in my first spell in charge at Celtic when we go 4-2-3-1 or with a diamond or with the three.
“I like the players to be adaptable and I think we’re better for it. I have great coaching staff here in John Kennedy and Damien Duff.
“John has worked the whole way through with Ronny [Deila] and Brendan [Rodgers], so he has learned a lot coaching wise and brings a lot of knowledge to the systems as well.”