Neil Lennon claims Efe Ambrose has reminded everyone he remains a ‘class act’ with his performances for Hibs.
The Nigerian internationalist arrived at Easter Road on an emergency loan until the end of the season, an outcast at Celtic where he hadn’t featured since last July and branded a “bomb scare” defender by some.
However, Lennon, who signed the 28-year-old for Celtic, jumped to Ambrose’s defence, adamant the flak to which he had been subjected was totally unjustified, a view he insists has been vindicated by the player’s displays for the Capital club.
Primarily a central defender, Ambrose was deployed at right-back in place of injured skipper David Gray as Hibs took a massive step towards the Championship title with a 2-1 win over Falkirk on Saturday.
Ambrose nodded home the opener and celebrated with a triple somersault before heading over to the home dug-out to embrace Lennon, who said: “You could see what it means to him to be back playing football and the Hibs public have seen what a class player he is.
“Efe isn’t a bona-fide right-back but I can trust in him that position. As a centre half, he has been superb. It’s been good for both parties and excellent for Efe to get his profile back in a positive manner.
“He’s shown the people of Scotland, Britain, Europe and back home in Nigeria what a class act he is. It’s been a great bit of business and he’s really enjoying the moment.”
Also delighting Lennon was the fact midfielder Dylan McGeouch played his first full 90 minutes in more than two months following injury while centre back Paul Hanlon stepped from the bench to make his return having been out since early January as Hibs opened up a ten-point gap on both the Bairns and Morton.
The Greenock side face Hibs at Easter Road on Wednesday night and Lennon admitted that if his team win again then “that will be it” as far as the title is concerned, adding: “We’d need to lose four games on the bounce and they’d have to win all their games as well.
“These two games were the biggest of our season and we’ve come out of the first one with three points.”
Lennon, however, warned that Morton will be a danger after Jim Duffy’s side lost to Dunfermline at the weekend, the first time they’d been beaten at Cappielow in almost a year. He said: “Morton will feel they have something to prove.
“It sums this league up, Morton win at Falkirk and then lose their unbeaten home record to Dunfermline, who came here and could have won. We know it will be a difficult game. People expect us to roll teams over week in, week out but nothing is a given – you have to earn it.
“But we were excellent against Falkirk, strong and gritty and I thought we were good value for the win.”