Talking point: Neil Lennon is right - Hibs aren't title contenders

Before Hibs' trip west to Celtic Park, head coach Neil Lennon said it was "folly" to talk of Hibs challenging for the title.

Saturday, 20th October 2018, 6:22 pm
Updated Saturday, 20th October 2018, 6:37 pm
Tom Rogic puts Celtic ahead against Hibs. Pic: SNS

Fast forward 24 hours - and a 4-2 defeat by Celtic - and, remarkably, Lennon was still getting asked about his team's title credentials. He said that he was "sick" of fielding such questions - and it's understandable, because as proficient a team Hibs are in the Scottish Premiership, it's improbable that they will top the tree come May next year.

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For the record, Lennon said after the latest title queries: "I am sick of hearing this title-contention stuff. They have a budget of £60million, they have a £9m striker [Odsonne Edouard]. I have got free transfers and rejects from other clubs who are playing brilliantly for me and I am really pleased with what I saw in the second half. But over a 38-game season it is very difficult to maintain that consistency, especially against the quality that we faced today."

Hibs are going to be fighting for a top-four spot, of that there is little doubt. They have goals sprinkled throughout the team and when they have their full XI out, they will cause every side in the Ladbrokes Premiership problems. But Lennon was bang on the money about budgets and how much teams can spend. Celtic are in a different ballpark, and at times today it showed. They scythed through Hibs at times and had threats all over the pitch.

Hibs can rightly be buoyed by the issues they caused Celtic at times here, but they are still a way behind the Old Firm over 38 games. Lennon knows this, and is realistic. He demands so much from his players, but the title isn't one of those things. Let's hope, for his frustration levels if nothing else, that it's the end of such questions.