Neil Lennon: New Celtic boss ready for 'surreal' return to Hibs

Neil Lennon ended his two-and-a-half year spell at Easter Road at the end of January
Neil Lennon's two-and-a-half year spell at Easter Road ended in January
Scottish Cup quarter-finals: Hibernian v Celtic
Venue: Easter Road Date: 2 March Time: 17:15 GMT
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New Celtic manager Neil Lennon insists there will be "no bitterness" on his part as he returns to Hibernian on Scottish Cup duty on Saturday.

Lennon left Hibs in January, returning for a second spell at Celtic after Brendan Rodgers departed for Leicester.

His exit from Easter Road came after he was suspended following an exchange between himself and club employees.

"It's not about me. There might be a few sub-plots with me going back but it's not the major issue," he said.

"The major issue is for me to help negotiate a very difficult cup tie."

Lennon oversaw a 2-1 victory away to Hearts on Wednesday, 24 hours after his appointment until the end of the season.

His replacement at Hibs - Paul Heckingbottom - has started his reign with three consecutive wins, lifting the club from eighth to sixth in the Scottish Premiership.

"What kind of reception am I expecting? I think I'll get a better one than I got at Tynecastle," said Lennon, who will again be without midfielder Ryan Christie and Callum McGregor.

"It will be a bit surreal going back so early. But I'm ready for it and there will be no bitterness. Not at all. Far from it.

"I don't know if I deserve [a warm welcome] but it would be nice. I had a great relationship with the Hibs public in my two-and-half years. We feel we did a good job.

"Things went a little bit dry for four or five weeks but Paul has come in and the players are playing well, so we'll be coming up against a very confident team."

Rodgers, now in charge at Leicester City, never lost a domestic cup game during his time in Scotland but never managed a win in three attempts against Lennon at Easter Road.

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