Hibs need four wins to claim second spot – Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon believes Hibs have put themselves in a great position in the table
Neil Lennon believes Hibs have put themselves in a great position in the table
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Hibs boss Neil Lennon has claimed the Easter Road side will need to win four of their last five matches if they are to pip Rangers and Aberdeen to second place in the Premiership table.

The Edinburgh club currently lie in fourth spot, three points adrift of their rivals but with both of them licking their wounds after chastening defeats by Celtic and Motherwell respectively in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup while many believe the momentum is now with Lennon’s players.

Hibs have lost just one of their last 14 league matches – away to tomorrow’s opponents Celtic – a run which, Lennon admitted, gives reason to believe that, if his side continue to play the way they have been, they can overhaul the Ibrox club and the Dons although he played down the impact the cup setbacks might have on either of them. He said: “I said at the start of the season that it would be Celtic, then Aberdeen and Rangers and then the rest of us fighting it out. We now have a chance to break into that second bracket and there is no reason why, if we play the way we have been playing, and depending on other results, we can’t do that.

“I’m not convinced that the semi-finals will have a huge impact on the coming games. Aberdeen have been there and done it over for a few years. Yes, for a couple of days they will be down but Derek {McInnes] will pick them up. Rangers have had a tumultuous week but sometimes you get a bit of strength through adversity and they will come again.

“I think we need to win four games to finish second but that is a big ask. If we can do that then we will give ourselves a big chance. We are in good form, some of the football we are playing, the attacking football, is very pleasing, But now we have five cup finals. We will try to get second place. We are only three points behind, which is a great position to be in.”

Celtic, of course, could win the Premiership title again tomorrow at Easter Road but while he’s enjoyed many such occasions himself, Lennon insisted he didn’t want to be hosting his old club’s party in his own backyard.

Insisting he had no complaints at Hibs finding themselves in that situation, Lennon said: “We have to play Celtic at some stage and I am pleased with three home games after the split – I feel we have earned that. I am sure Brendan [Rodgers] will want it done and out of the way tomorrow. We all know they are going to win it eventually but we have a lot to play for and we are not just going to make it a day out for Celtic.”