Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football Scottish

Neil Lennon is in the running to take reins at Hibernian

By Graham Luney

Neil Lennon has emerged as a leading candidate to replace Alan Stubbs as Hibernian manager.

The former Northern Ireland midfielder was unable to secure a reunion with Celtic after Ronny Deila left the Glasgow giants but he's now one of the bookies' favourites to become the next Hibs boss.

Lennon, who was Celtic supremo from 2010-2014 and left Bolton by mutual consent in March, was in the running for the Hoops job before they opted for another Ulsterman, Brendan Rodgers, instead.

The Lurgan man admitted he was disappointed to miss out on a Celtic return but said he was happy to offer Rodgers advice and the Hibs vacancy will now catch his eye.

SkyBet have Lennon at 6/1 to take the job at the Scottish Championship side, only behind former boss John Hughes and Stuart McCall. Hughes is the favourite on 6/5 after leaving Inverness Caley Thistle, with Scotland assistant boss McCall being quoted at 7/2.

Further names linked to the position are Owen Coyle, Ian Cathro, Steve Evans, Jimmy Calderwood and former Hibs favourite Russell Latapy.

Another Ulsterman who will be on Hibs' radar is St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright, who has just netted the Scottish Premier League Manager of the Year award.

Wright, who led the Saints to a second consecutive fourth-placed finish in the SPL, turning around a dismal mid-season run of form, was also linked with the Rotherham post and with a return to his old club, Nottingham Forest.

But the former Northern Ireland keeper is settled in Scotland and the Hibs job would not spark major upheaval in his life. The 52-year-old said recently: "On my situation, I'm happy here.

"The chairman and I both know there might come a day when, hopefully, a move will come for me. But it would have to be exactly what I felt was right."

The new Hibs chief will be tasked with succeeding where Stubbs failed by leading the club back into the Scottish Premiership. Stubbs was yesterday confirmed as the new Rotherham boss after compensation talks with Hibs were completed.

The 44-year-old and his assistant John Doolan were forced to quit their positions at Easter Road in order to force the move through.

Stubbs took the Edinburgh club to their first trophy in 114 years less than a fortnight ago as they beat Rangers in the Scottish Cup final, but he has been tempted south of the border after brief talks with the Millers.

Hibs initially rejected Rotherham's advances last week but - after meeting with their manager on Monday - "reluctantly" allowed him to open discussions before further digging their heels in over compensation.

A Rotherham statement said: "Rotherham United are delighted to confirm the appointment of Alan Stubbs and John Doolan.

"Rotherham can confirm that Alan Stubbs and John Doolan have resigned from their post as head coach and first-team coach of Hibernian FC.

"We are delighted to confirm that the club has subsequently appointed Alan Stubbs as the new first-team manager and John Doolan as assistant manager.

"Both Alan and John have signed three-year contracts at AESSEAL New York Stadium."

Stubbs becomes Rotherham's third permanent manager in eight months after Neil Warnock performed a U-turn in opting not to extend his short-term stay.

It is thanks to Warnock that Stubbs takes over at a second-tier club following a great escape last season and the former Bolton Wanderers, Celtic and Everton defender will be expected to get the Millers challenging further up the Championship table next term.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph