Lewis Stevenson believes his testimonial match against Sunderland will play a key part in Hibs’ preparations for the new season, insisting boss Neil Lennon won’t allow it to become no more than a training session.
The Black Cats visit Easter Road on July 9 to mark Stevenson’s 12 years as a first-team player with the club and the left back predicted that, although they’ve been relegated to the English Championship, Sunderland still present a stiff test for him and his team-mates.
It will be only Hibs’ second pre-season match following a trip across the Forth to face Dunfermline three days earlier, one of just three such games Lennon’s players will play before beginning their Betfred Cup campaign at home to Montrose on Saturday, July 15, the tie preceded by the now annual visit to Berwick Rangers on the Tuesday of that week.
Stevenson, who has agreed a new two-year deal, said: “They are obviously a big club so it’ll be a good test for us and it’ll get us ready for what’s going to be a tough season. Even although it’s a testimonial it’s still a big game for us.
“We need to prepare for the season and I’m sure the manager won’t be in the frame of mind to be giving me penalties and stuff like that. I’m looking forward to it.”