Hibs boss Neil Lennon has revealed he’s closing in on his first signing, admitting he’s confident it will be made “pretty soon”.
Lennon met his squad for the first time as they returned for pre-season training. Their opening competitive match – the first leg of their Europa League tie against either Valur Reykjavik or Brondby – is only three weeks away.
The first day was spent on fitness testing with Lennon planning to “get some football into them” today and to begin assessing what he has inherited from his predecessor Alan Stubbs.
But between those sessions the new head coach spent time with chief executive Leeann Dempster, head of football operations George Craig, and Graeme Mathie, head of player identification and recruitment, discussing “where we are” with player contracts and available signing targets, Lennon having disclosed on the day his appointment was announced that there were some areas of the squad he’d like to strengthen.
Adding an experienced and proven goalscorer is one priority for Lennon, who has only top scorer Jason Cummings and James Keatings to rely on at present with former Motherwell and Celtic hitman Scott McDonald believed to be under consideration. The Australian internationalist is a free agent after his Fir Park contract came to an end and is well known to the Hibs boss, who was a coach under Gordon Strachan when the 32-year-old was at Celtic Park.
Since then the former Northern Ireland internationalist has been in France working with the BBC at the European Championships but, he revealed, much time was also spent on preparing for his new challenge.
Revealing it was “good to get back into the swing of things” and that he was looking forward to beginning to work with his players, Lennon disclosed progress is being made on bringing new faces to Easter Road.
He told the Evening News: “We’ve not got anything over the line but I feel confident we will do so pretty soon.”
Having found his players in buoyant mood as they gathered together for the first time since their historic Scottish Cup triumph barely a month ago, Lennon said: “It would have been a great feeling for them all and to have then seen those tremendous scenes when they paraded the trophy. They’ve had a few weeks to think things over and to take it all in. But now it’s back to work, getting our priorities in order with winning promotion at the top of that list.”