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Hibs 'have to give Lennon funds to keep him at helm'

 

By Steven Beacom

Neil Lennon must be backed in the transfer market by Hibs over the summer if they want to keep him at Easter Road, claims former Celtic team-mate John Hartson.

After being relegated from the Scottish Premiership in 2014, ex-Northern Ireland star Lennon took the Edinburgh outfit back to the top flight in his first season at the helm and is now intent on making an impression next term.

After shining as Celtic boss with numerous trophy wins and a famous Champions League victory over Barcelona, Lennon encountered a difficult spell in charge of financially troubled Bolton. Delighted to make a successful return to management with Hibs, the Lurgan man is determined to kick on but knows he will need resources to do it.

Hartson, who played alongside Lennon when Martin O'Neill was in charge at Parkhead, feels it is essential for Hibs that they provide funds for the one-time Leicester City midfielder, suggesting there may be interest from elsewhere.

Now a respected television pundit, Hartson said: "Neil has done superbly taking Hibs up but now they have to back him if they want to keep him, because he has put himself back in the job window.

"They need to back him. Hibs will know how good he is and you have to reward top managers like Neil. I'm sure all the Hibs people will want him to stay because of the brilliant job he has done there winning promotion to the top flight as champions.

"I think Neil will want some money to bring in new signings because knowing him he will be determined to be very competitive in the top flight."

◊ Hartson and his fellow former Celt Stiliyan Petrov will be at the Devenish Hotel in Belfast on October 13 for a special event. The Parkhead heroes will talk about playing for the Hoops, being managed by Martin O'Neill, Old Firm games, eventful spells in English football and overcoming serious health issues. To book tickets for the shows go to www.experienceepic.co.uk

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