Neil Lennon will give young Hibs duo a chance

Sam Stanton, 
top, and Alex Harris were out on loan last season. Pic: SNS
Sam Stanton, top, and Alex Harris were out on loan last season. Pic: SNS
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Neil Lennon intends to give Alex Harris and Sam Stanton a chance to revive their Hibs careers.

The homegrown duo found themselves cast as peripheral figures under previous head coach Alan Stubbs and it looked like their days at Easter Road might be numbered after they were sent out on loan.

However, Lennon, who replaced the Liverpudlian at the helm last week, recalls seeing both Harris, 21, and Stanton, 22, make a big impact when they first broke into the Hibs first team under Pat Fenlon at a time when he was still in charge of Celtic.

The Northern Irishman believes the academy graduates can still fulfil their early promise and has vowed to grant them both the opportunity to prove themselves when they return for pre-season on Thursday.

“I’ll definitely be having a look at Sam and Alex when they come back,” Lennon told the Evening News. “I’ll have a chat with them and see what they’re thinking. I liked both of them in my time at Celtic. They probably haven’t realised the potential they showed a couple of years ago but there’s plenty of scope in the two of them.”

Winger Harris is contracted to Hibs until next summer, but has made only one appearance for the club in the last 18 months after spending the tail end of the 2014/15 campaign on loan at Dundee and then most of last season at Queen of the South.

Midfielder Stanton’s deal lasts until 2018. After producing his best form under Terry Butcher as Hibs were relegated in the 2013/14 season, the midfielder dropped down the pecking order under Stubbs, who brought in several central midfielders. Stanton agreed to go out on loan to Livingston for the second half of last season and scored three goals in 16 appearances for the West Lothian outfit.