Neil Lennon reveals Hibs job interest as Australian title-winning head coach enters fray

Neil Lennon is interested in becoming the next Hibs manager. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Neil Lennon is interested in becoming the next Hibs manager. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

Lennon previously took charge of the Easter Road club in June 2016, leading the club to the Championship title in his maiden campaign before going on to claim a fourth-place finish in the Premiership and qualifying for Europe the following season.

He left his position under a cloud in January 2019 having been suspended by the club following an exchange with fellow employees only to depart five days later by mutual consent along with assistant Gary Parker before any disciplinary process was carried out.

Despite that somewhat awkward ending, Lennon admitted he would be willing to speak to Hibs bosses regarding a return to the dug-out, having since gone on to manage Celtic for a second time before a spell in charge of Omonia Nicosia in Cyprus last year.

"Of course," the Northern Irishman told PLZ Soccer when quizzed over his interest in replacing Johnson, who was sacked on Sunday after a 3-2 home defeat to Livingston left Hibs bottom of the Premiership table without a point after the opening three games.

"I've been there before, it's a big club, it's got potential. There's been change after change after change. There's been no consistency at the coach level and that's probably the most important role in the whole football club. So they have to get the next appointment right for a bit of longevity and stability.

"I've watched Hibs a few times this year. Going forward they have got some really good players and good speed in the team. But defensively they are not working hard enough to stop opportunities or stop crosses and that needs to be corrected before they can make any progress at all.

"We can't go down the hypothetical route. There will be a load of applicants I'm sure for the job and it's really important that the board get that right. Whether they approach me or not, it might be worth a conversation, but that's as far as we can go with it at the minute. "

Lennon is currently the bookmakers favourite for the gig with Kilmarnock boss Derek McInnes and St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson also listed among the frontrunners. He does not expect Hibs to make a quick appointment despite the looming transfer deadline on Friday.

"The backline does need addressed," Lennon added. "Whether they can bring anyone anyone else in... because they have spent money. The Gordons have backed the footballing side of things. Whether the window shuts or not there are still a squad of players there who are far better than what they are showing at the minute in terms of results and performances. I do think in Lee's defence that the European campaign was difficult. Thursday, Sunday - did they have the strength in depth? That's proved to be not the case. When things do settle down the club will get better but in the short term I don't think they need to make a rash decision. They've got one more game before the international break where they can get all their ducks in a row over who they want to bring in. I think that's the approach they'll take but I'm only speculation on that."

Another name in the frame, according to reports, is Central Coast Mariners head coach Neil Montgomery. The 41-year-old is said to be under consideration for the vacancy after defying the odds with a modest budget to win the A-League title last season.

Hibs have placed first-team coach David Gray in caretaker charge with the 2016 Scottish Cup hero set to take charge of the Europa Conference League play-off second leg away to Aston Villa on Thursday with a 5-0 deficit before Hibs travel to Aberdeen in the league on Sunday.