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Thrilled Lennon eager to repay Hibs after penning a new deal

 

By Gavin McCafferty

Neil Lennon only has eyes for Hibernian after signing a new three-year contract.

The head coach was in the final year of his previous deal after leading Hibs to the Ladbrokes Championship title in his debut campaign, but has now extended his commitment until the summer of 2020.

The former Celtic boss has rejuvenated his managerial career after a difficult 17-month spell at Bolton, a club then in the midst of significant financial problems.

And he is in no rush to return to England after finding happiness in Edinburgh.

Ulsterman Lennon, whose side face St Johnstone tomorrow, said: "We all have romantic ideas about the game and where we want to go, but the most important thing is if you are happy and enjoy the players and enjoy the environment. And I very much do so.

"It's a very precarious job being a football manager and I'm privileged to be in a job and a club like this. And when you are here you want to make the most of your time, and the board have agreed to extend my time here.

"My ambitions are here - that's why I signed a contract. I'm not looking anywhere else. I haven't done since I walked in the door.

"It's been a good move for me, professionally and personally. I owe the club a debt of gratitude and I want to repay them with success on the pitch and hopefully make them some money.

"I'm not looking any further than what I have here at the moment. Sometimes, when you start doing that, you get distracted and lose your way a little bit."

Lennon captured three titles during his four-year spell as Celtic manager and he hopes to win more silverware at Easter Road.

"In the modern game, particularly in England and even abroad, managers don't get enough time to put in place what they want to do," he said. "In Scotland it is slightly different - there are plenty of managers here now who are in their third, fourth, fifth seasons.

"You saw Derek (McInnes, at Aberdeen) sign a new deal, Brendan (Rodgers, at Celtic), now myself.

"It gives me a target, an incentive, and scope to work with people and achieve targets we set."

Lennon's decision was made easier by the club's strong stance following three bids from Nottingham Forest for midfielder John McGinn, the final deadline-day offer reported to be £1.5m.

"We engaged with Forest and told them our valuation. That wasn't met so I was quite confident we would hold on to John," he added.

"I have spoken to him and he is quite happy to keep his development going here. If he keeps progressing there will be a number of other clubs coming in for him over the next six to 12 months.

"He just has to keep concentrating on developing his talent and making his game a bit more rounded."

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