Neil Lennon has admitted tonight’s Europa League clash with Faroe Island minnows NSI Runavik is fraught with danger for Hibs but admitted he looking for “a win and a clean sheet” to take into next week’s second leg.
The Capital club are overwhelming favourites to progress into the second qualifying round of the competition and a tie against Greek outfit Asteras Tripolis.
But Lennon insisted he’ll be taking nothing for granted having dispatched his assistant Garry Parker and head scout Mike Meechan to seize the one and only opportunity they’d have to see Runavik in action within 48 hours of the draw being made.
He said: “I would like a clean sheet. Any victory would be good but, at home, you are always looking to build a nice lead to take with you. I want a win and a clean sheet because, a week down the line, I know myself from the experiences of managing and playing that you feel a lot better for it. You get the game-time into your legs and you have built up that wee bit of confidence to take into the return leg. You become sharper and more match-accustomed.
“These ties can often be fraught. We know that. But we go in as favourites and a victory and a clean sheet is what I’m looking for ideally.
“We won’t be taking anything for granted, I can assure you of that. We want to progress. The players have earned the right to be here because we had a great season and they have done some brilliant things at the club over the past few years.
“The first objective is to try to reach the group stage. We know it’ll be very difficult. But the more games you play, the more confident you become and it really sets you up for a good season. You will play in different climates against different footballing cultures, so it really helps you mature and develop as a player.
“We had a brilliant season. Okay, we have lost some players, but we still have a good core group. We have also added a few, which I’m really happy with, and we will look to continue shopping whilst progressing as far as we can in Europe.”