Neil Lennon: Second place with Hibs would be as good as Celtic titles

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Neil Lennon believes guiding Hibernian to second spot in the Ladbrokes Premiership would taste just as sweet as any of his title triumphs at Celtic.

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Neil Lennon won three titles as manager of Celtic. Picture: Robert Perry

Neil Lennon won three titles as manager of Celtic. Picture: Robert Perry

The Easter Road boss won three straight championships during his Parkhead reign.

But he says taking his Leith side to the runners-up spot at the end of their first campaign back in the top-flight would rank just as high as any of those Hoops triumphs.

With three games remaining, Hibs sit three points behind Saturday’s opponents Aberdeen and level on points with Rangers as the three clubs eye the finish line in the sprint to end the season behind Brendan Rodgers’ newly-crowned champions.

“It will be as good as winning the title,” said the Northern Irishman ahead of this weekend’s Pittodrie trip.

“We can’t win the title unless we get resources that are close to Celtic’s. We understand that.

“But can we finish best of the rest and is that exciting for our fans? Yeah it is. Is it exciting for me and the players? Yes.

“That’s because this is our first season back and they have performed unbelievably well.

“I’m not bothered about (those who looked down on the race for second). You know me, I like to win. There has to be a realism about it and if we can finish second it would be an incredible achievement for a team who have just been promoted.”

Only goal difference is keeping Gers in front of Lennon’s team but the Ibrox men will have to dig deep if they are to respond against Kilmarnock after suffering yet another humiliating pasting from Celtic in last Sunday’s Old Firm showdown.

Graeme Murty paid the price for that 5-0 drubbing as he was axed as Gers boss, but Lennon does not believe he can yet count the shattered Rangers squad out of the second-spot fight.

He said: “Absolutely not - you can’t write Rangers out of it. They are still capable of winning games.

“However, psychologically they have been damaged heavily.

“It’s been a tumultuous week for them. That’s their issues and they still have to deal with them the way they see fit.

“But I’m certainly not writing them out of the race for second place.”

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