BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
MURDO MacLeod reckons Hibs are a big enough club to entice Neil Lennon back to Scottish football.
The Easter Road outfit are keen on landing the former Celtic boss as their successor to Alan Stubbs following the Scottish Cup-winning hero’s departure for Rotherham United this week.
One leading bookmaker even stopped taking bets on the 44-year-old moving to Easter Road – before talks between the two parties were held on Friday night.
Lennon is out of work after almost two seasons with Bolton Wanderers and has confessed to being disappointed at being pipped to a Parkhead return by Brendan Rodgers.
And former Celtic midfielder MacLeod is in no doubt that the stature of Hibs could convince Lennon to drop down to the Scottish Championship in a bid to revive his dugout career.
MacLeod, who captained Hibs to their 1991 Skol Cup triumph and was also assistant-manager to Alex Miller, said: “People will think that going from the English Championship to the Scottish lower leagues would be a massive drop.
“But Hibs are a massive club – one of the biggest in Scotland.
“Neil is looking for a job. He didn’t get the Celtic one and is looking elsewhere.
“If he takes over at Hibs, he has a fantastic chance of taking them up and that would be a great couple of years – winning the Scottish Cup and then getting promotion.
“Hibs were a good fit for me in my time there and I have always viewed them as one of the top four or five teams in Scotland.
“Neil will know that.
“I think Hibs would be a good one for him. He knows Scottish football really well, he knows the league and will know the club and players.
“Neil is the type of manager who could really push Hibs. He would bring a lot to them.
“They have a big support, a great stadium and training facilities. Any manager would look at that and think, ‘It’s up to me to take them on’.”
Many will question why someone who managed Celtic to top-flight title success, Scottish Cup triumphs and the last 16 of the Champions League would consider plying their trade in a division that will include away trips to the likes of Dumbarton and Ayr United.
However, should Lennon prove willing to take on the challenge of trying to return Hibs to the Premiership next season, MacLeod believes the 44-year-old will be determined to restore both his and the capital club’s reputation.
MacLeod, who was speaking at a Ladbrokes Euro 2016 event at Knockhill Racing Circuit, added: “There is a difference between playing Barcelona and managing in the Championship, but that’s football.
“You can’t always work at the top level and you have to deal with that.
“Neil is looking at it and if he’s keen to take the job, good on him. If he does go there, he will be determined to make a success of it. There are no excuses.
“Bolton weren’t in good shape but Hibs are well-run, they have a big support and have the players to go and win that league.”