HIBS stand-in boss David Gray has reacted to reports Neil Lennon could make a sensational return as Easter Road manager.

The Northern Irishman has been out of football since departing Celtic on February 23 – only two days after a 1-0 loss to Ross County which was just another disastrous result in an inexplicable collapse by the team in what was expected to be a historic season.

As the quest for the coveted tenth successive title disintegrated shortly after the turn of the year and with the Hoops out of Europa and the Betfred League Cup, Lennon headed for the exit two years after his return to take over from Brendan Rodgers after the one-time Liverpool gaffer’s sudden move to Leicester City.

WINNER…Neil Lennon prepares to celebrate the penalty-kick shoot-out win over Hearts in the Scottish Cup Final on December 20 last year. 

Now, following 10 months of conjecture with the former captain linked with a few clubs across the border, most recently Ipswich Town, there has been speculation he could get the nod to make a comeback at the Edinburgh outfit after the sacking of Jack Ross last week.

Intriguingly, there is talk of Lennon leading out the team in the Premier Sports League Cup Final against Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic at Hampden on Sunday.

Gray, who is preparing for a Premiership match against Dundee in Edinburgh tonight, took time off to discuss the possibility of a shock Lennon return and said: “He brought success to the club. When he was here we won the Championship, I was the captain and I had a good relationship with him.

X-CERTIFICATE VIEWING…Neil Lennon can’t bear to look as Celtic topple out of the Champions League to Ferencvaros at Parkhead.

“He was very demanding, the standards he expected were very high. He has managed at a high level and he has an aura about him and he demands respect and rightly so.

“It’s nothing to do with me if he comes back or not, that’s up to the powers-that-be moving forward. I’m not getting caught up with anything, it’s just about focusing on the job myself, Eddie May and Craig Samson have to do.”

Gray, speaking to The Scotsman, added: “I can’t look past the Dundee game. That was my same position for the St Mirren game. My full focus was on that game and now our attention turns to Dundee.

“By the end of the week, if the position is still the same, then we can start talking about that. But the full focus has to be on Dundee.”

HEADING FOR THE HOOPS EXIT…Neil Lennon trudges off the Dingwall pitch after the 1-0 loss to Ross County in February.

Lennon was in charge of Hibs for two-and-a-half years before being suspended in January 2019 after a row with club officials. He left shortly afterwards.

A month later, he made a remarkable Celtic comeback to see the club over the line for an eighth championship in a row and added a Scottish Cup with a 2-1 win over Hearts on May 25 2019.

In the next campaign, he presided over a Covid-delayed clean sweep with the quadruple being completed on December 20 last year following a penalty-kick shoot-out triumph over the Tynecastle club after a dramatic 3-3 extra-time draw.

Unfortunately, last season fell apart which brought massive changes at Parkhead on and off the field.


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