NEIL Lennon believes his toughened up Hibernian team will be suited to Premiership football after they sealed promotion from the Championship on Saturday, writes Neil Cameron.
The Northern Irishman’s first task when appointed manager just over a year ago was to rid the players of what he felt was a “boyband” image and ensure they were better prepared to get out of the league at the third attempt. The 3-0 home win over Queen of the South confirmed what had been likely for weeks, Hibs are back in the top flight and will be ready, with a few much needed additions to compete at that level.
“I thought we were a bit soft. I used the term ‘boyband’ because I thought we played nice football, were easy on the eye, but we kept losing,” said Lennon.
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“And losing to teams we shouldn’t have been losing to and they raised their game for the big matches. So we wanted them to go to the Queen of the South’s and the Dumbarton’s and dig out results.
“The big games at a club like this take care of themselves but it was the other games that mattered. The other thing was if we couldn’t win, don’t lose it. We did have a few more draws than we would have liked , but each point was important going forward.
Though Lennon won three league titles, two Scottish Cups and made the last 16 of the Champions League as Celtic manager, he made it clear he’d enjoy this one too.
“I have been thinking about this day for a few weeks,” said Lennon. “It’s a sense of pride and achievement. I’ve won the Premier League a few times and I’ve won the Championship and there are not many managers who can say that.”