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‘NO BITTERNESS,’ INSISTS LENNON

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NEIL LENNON insists there will be no bitterness on his behalf when he takes Celtic to Edinburgh tomorrow evening for their Scottish Cup quarter-final against former club Hibs.

The Irishman was suspended in mysterious circumstances by the Easter Road outfit at the turn of the year before an acrimonious departure in January.

His exit from Hibs came after reports of an exchange between himself and club employees

Now, in a bizarre turn of events, the Hoops former gaffer will be back at the club as the Hoops’ interim manager following Brendan Rodgers’ sensational and unexpected exit on Tuesday that stunned football.

Lennon, speaking to BBC Sport, said: “It’s not about me. There might be a few sub-plots with me going back, but it’s not the major issue.

“The major issue is for me to help negotiate a very difficult Cup-tie.

“What kind of reception am I expecting? I think I’ll get a better one than I got at Tynecastle!

“It will be a bit surreal going back so early. But I’m ready for it and there will be no bitterness. Not at all. Far from it.

“I don’t know if I deserve a welcome, but it would be nice. I had a great relationship with the Hibs public in my two-and-half years. We feel we did a good job.

“Things went a little bit dry for four or five weeks, but Paul Heckingbottom has come in and the players are playing well, so we’ll be coming up against a very confident team.”

Rodgers, now in charge at Leicester City, never lost a domestic Cup game during his time at the Hoops, but never managed a win in three attempts against Lennon at Easter Road.

The trophy holders go into the tie once again without the midfield talents of injured double-act Ryan Christie and Callum McGregor while long-term crock Tom Rogic hasn’t played this year since sustaining a knee injury on international duty with Australia.

The Edinburgh team have had three consecutive wins under new Head Coach Heckingbottom.

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