Ex-Hibs star reveals phenomenal motivational speech Neil Lennon gave before Edinburgh derby

Neil Lennon once gave a pre-match team-talk before an Edinburgh derby that the soon-to-be-victorious Hibs players felt like they were going to war, ex-Easter Road star Marvin Bartley has revealed.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 5:30 pm
Marvin Bartley challenges former Hearts midfielder Ross Callachan during an Edinburgh derby win for Hibs at Easter Road. Picture: SNS

Speaking in a wide-ranging interview with Open Goal about his career in the game, Bartley recalled the fiery nature of Lennon during his time in charge of the capital club.

Though Lennon’s emotive personality would ultimately lead to his downfall in Leith, particularly a clash with striker Florian Kamberi, there were times when his man-management skills had the first-team believing they could do anything.

Bartley recalled one particular speech the manager made before a clash with the club’s biggest rivals.

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He said: “There was a time before we played Hearts. It was five minutes before kick-off and he tells us all to take our shirts off.

“He tells us to turn our shirts around so we’re facing the badge. And he says look at that badge and know what that means to the people out there. Go and win the game for them. And if you can’t win the game for them, win the game for your family.

“Then he tells us to turn our shirts over, so mine will say Bartley, and he says and there’s your family name. Every time you’re feeling tired, think about your family at home watching you.

“And then he says if that’s not enough, go to the mirror and win it for the person looking back at you.

“They could have had as many players as they wanted that day, we were ready for war.”

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