BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
PAT Nevin hopes Neil Lennon will be able to raid old club Celtic to help make his Hibernian reign a success.
The Easter Road outfit drafted in midfielder Liam Henderson on a season-long switch from the Hoops last season and returned to Parkhead to snap up Anthony Stokes on another loan in January.
The duo proved influential for the capital outfit, none more so than in their historic Scottish Cup triumph last month, when Stokes netted a double and Henderson provided two late assists – including for David Gray’s stunning winner – from pinpoint corners.
Although Stokes is now a free agent after being freed by the Scottish champions, Henderson could again be a signing target from Celtic if the 20-year-old is to be farmed out.
And former Scotland winger Nevin, who is a Hibs supporter, hopes the relationship that proved so fruitful last term can continue now that Lennon is in charge.
He said: “From Hibernian’s point of view, they’ve got a manager who understands and knows the Scottish game, and understands what kind of club Hibernian are.
“And, also, with a bit of luck for Hibs fans, he’ll keep that good relationship with Celtic going.
“The players who played for Hibs, from Celtic, last season had a massive effect, particularly in that Scottish Cup final.”
Lennon, who has penned a two-year deal, has already admitted his remit for the coming season is to lead Hibs to promotion back to the Premiership.
And Nevin believes the Northern Irishman will rank up alongside some of the club’s greats if he can deliver success.
He told the BBC: “It’s a very interesting appointment and fairly exciting as well.
“It’s going to be another tough season ahead, another season in the Championship. You’ve got Dunfermline, Dundee United, Falkirk, etc. down there as well.
“So, it’s not going to be easy getting out of that, and that’s what his job is going to be, to make sure the team turns up in a positive, fighting manner.
“If they are good enough they’ll get up and he will go into that pantheon of managers who are dearly loved at Hibernian.
“But he has to get them up this season.”