Neil Lennon delighted with Hibs history-makers

Neil Lennon today hailed his history-making players as they became the first Hibs side in 70 years to win their opening five league matches.

Monday, 12th September 2016, 6:30 am
Updated Thursday, 15th September 2016, 3:57 pm
Neil Lennon was impressed with how Hibs ground out victory at Dumbarton

A hotly-disputed Jason Cummings penalty was enough to ensure the Easter Road club maintained their 100 per cent start to the season, the 1-0 victory over Dumbarton keeping them two points clear at the top of the Championship table.

Hibs hadn’t won their first five league games since the start of the 1946/47 season when Willie McCartney’s side saw off Queen of the South, Rangers, Queen’s Park, Clyde and Hamilton in the old First Division.

“You’re kidding me,” was Lennon’s reaction to learning of his players’ feat, before adding: “I’m very pleased with that. It’s an achievement as it’s always difficult to win five games in a row at any time.”

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And the Hibs boss insisted he was more pleased with the narrow win in Dumbarton – where the Capital club lost twice last season – than their previous league outing, a 4-0 win against Morton, given the way they had to dig out their victory.

Adamant it was too early to talk of such dogged performances and results being of the sort which win titles, Lennon said: “There are different ways to skin a cat. It was a difficult pitch, Dumbarton are not going to set it up to suit us but themselves.

“They’re not going to cut the grass or water the pitch because that plays into our hands. I can see why we lost here last year but we dug out a very good result and I am happy with that.”

Lennon, though, was less than pleased with the performance of match-winner Cummings, who marked his 100th start for the club with his seventh goal of the season, saying the Scotland Under-21 striker should have had Hibs “out of sight” before half-time.

After scoring from the penalty spot after Grant Holt had been hauled down by Dumbarton defender Gregor Buchanan, Cummings had two gilt-edged chances within minutes to claim a hat-trick but missed them both.

Lennon said; “Jason has been away with Scotland and has come back very rusty for some reason. You forget he is still young and he has scored seven goals already but there is a sloppiness about him at times. He needs to be more ruthless although I cannot tell him how to score goals as I wasn’t exactly prolific myself. He is always there – you can’t coach that – but had he taken his chances we’d have been out of sight.

“However, we are creating chances, we are getting hard to beat – that’s three consecutive clean sheets – so it is the sum of all parts.

“We have to kick on, keep going.”