Ex-Hibs goalkeeper on 'absolutely tonto' Neil Lennon at Tynecastle after costly defeat

Former Hibs goalkeeper Cammy Bell has revealed Neil Lennon went “absolutely tonto” at the players following a defeat at Hearts which all but cost the club a third-place finish.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 7:40 am
Updated Thursday, 11th March 2021, 7:58 am
Former Hibs boss Neil Lennon. Picture: SNS

In the Hibees first campaign back in the top-flight after three seasons in the Championship, the team were in contention to finish second going into their penultimate match.

Hibs travelled to Tynecastle to face a Hearts side they had already defeated twice that season. A win would have taken them level on points with Rangers in second and only a point behind second-place Aberdeen going into the final fixture with the Ibrox side coming to Easter Road.

Goals in either half from Kyle Lafferty and Steven Naismith handed Hearts a 2-1 win.

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It was a result which left Lennon fizzing and considering his future, deeming fourth “unacceptable”.

The manager’s frustration was expressed to his players in the Tynecastle changing room that night.

Bell told the Daily Record: “In terms of finishing third the damage had been done a few days earlier. We blew it in the Edinburgh derby. If we had beaten Hearts at Tynecastle we’d have gone into the Rangers game in a better shape but we lost 2-1.

“I remember Neil Lennon absolutely went through us in the changing room. He chucked all his staff out and basically tried to take on the team himself. He went absolutely tonto. It meant so much to him, as it did the players, and the frustration just came pouring out.

“He knew if we’d beaten Hearts and won the derby and all the emotion that comes with that then the momentum would have carried us through the Rangers game.

“It wasn’t to be though and in the end we had to make do with fourth which still got Hibs into the Europa League.”

A few days later Hibs drew 5-5 with Rangers in one of the most madcap games in recent times in Scotland in front of nearly 20,000 at a packed Easter Road.

Having been 3-0 up, Hibs trailed 5-3 before Jamie Maclaren hit a double to complete his hat-trick in the final 20 minutes. His final goal came in stoppage time and prompted Lennon into celebrating it by doing the airplane on the Easter Road pitch.

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