Mark Milligan key to Hibs’ run of clean sheets – Neil Lennon

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Neil Lennon has claimed it is no coincidence Hibs have started keeping clean sheets since Australian veteran Mark Milligan joined the Easter Road club.

Milligan, pictured above, made a brief appearance as a substitute during the 3-2 win over Kilmarnock following his arrival on a two-year contract and a lengthy wait for the necessary red tape to be completed.

Mark Milligan has started Hibs' last three matches

Mark Milligan has started Hibs' last three matches

BBut he has since started three matches, the Capital club not conceding a goal in the past week against Dundee, Aberdeen and St Mirren. The 33-year-old, who has 71 caps to his name and has featured in the finals of four World Cups, has operated as the anchor in midfield.

Predicting there is even better to come from Milligan, Lennon said: “It’s no coincidence since he has come into the team we are unbeaten and keeping clean sheets. I think he is a tremendous asset. It was a difficult week for him because he hasn’t played much football and then he was thrown in at the deep end.

“But he has come through it with flying colours and once we get him recovered and refreshed I think we will probably get even better performances from him – he’s my kind of player.”

The 1-0 victory over St Mirren lifted Hibs into second place in the Ladbrokes Premiership, ahead of shock troops Livingston on goal difference but five points behind table-topping Hearts. However, Lennon is hot interested in the exploits of his rivals as he concentrates on adapting to life following the loss of key players such as Dylan McGeouch, John McGinn and Scott Allan.

Milligan was one of eight new signings over the summer and, although Hibs have made their own promising start to the season, Lennon has repeatedly stressed that at the moment they are still very much “a work in progress” as he seeks to assimilate the newcomers into his plans.

He said: “People keep asking me, but I am not bothered. I am working on change here, transition, the style of football. The football is still very, very good but we have had a difficult week in terms of the volume of games and the amount of effort the players have put in.

“We don’t have the biggest of squads but they are giving me everything at the minute which is all I can ask for.”