Hibernian: Neil Lennon targets away win on return to Celtic Park

John McGinn, Anthony Stokes and Neil Lennon
Anthony Stokes [centre] will be a key figure in Hibs' attack on Saturday

Deadly finishing, patience and luck will be required for Hibernian to end Celtic's 57-game unbeaten domestic run, says Hibs' head coach Neil Lennon.

Former Celtic manager Lennon will be in the away dugout at Celtic Park for the first time when the teams meet in the Premiership on Saturday.

"You need a massive amount of concentration and discipline and you need to be quite ruthless when you get the opportunities," he said.

"Patience is going to be a virtue."

And Lennon, who led Celtic to three league titles and two Scottish Cups before leaving in 2014, added: "The other commodity that you can't put your finger on is luck."

Lennon will pit his wits against fellow Northern Irish manager Brendan Rodgers, whose team this term has continued the form that clinched the treble last season.

"I think it's a question every manager is trying to figure out," said the Easter Road boss when asked how to end Celtic's unbeaten domestic run.

"Set plays might be important. You will have to change your game plan because you won't have the ball as often.

"Celtic dominate the ball not only in Scotland but in some matches in Europe as well."

Neil Lennon and Efe Ambrose
May 2013: Celtic manager Neil Lennon and defender Efe Ambrose lift the Scottish Cup after a 3-0 win over Hibernian

Joining Lennon in returning to Celtic Park is his assistant Gary Parker along with former players Efe Ambrose, Dylan McGeouch and Anthony Stokes, while defender Steven Whitaker played for Rangers against Celtic.

"I think those guys are all important to the team," said the head coach.

'Ultimate game in Scottish football'

"They have great experience having played for Celtic and Rangers for some considerable time. So that experience will be really important.

"All their old natural instincts will kick in. I won't need to motivate the team.

"Subconsciously they will all be looking forward to the game as this is the ultimate game in Scottish football at the minute, Celtic away. It's the toughest test you are going to get but it's a game in which you want to show your best."

Lennon hopes to receive a warm welcome from the Celtic supporters on Saturday, but insists that when the game starts his sole target is a Hibernian victory.

"I'm expecting it to be nice, to be warm, I hope it is anyway," he said of his reception.

"It's a club that is very close to my heart and has been for a significant period of my life.

"They are going along great guns. I'm going there to do my job the best for Hibs. This is not about me. We will play Celtic again next month and hopefully another three times in the league.

"If you get beat it means nothing. It will be good to be back but for the team it's another game and a big game."

Top Stories