New Hibs manager Neil Lennon insists his squad will not be complete in time for Europa League tie



New Hibs manager Neil Lennon admits his squad will be far from complete by the time they face their first competitive game of the season in the Europa League.

Lennon will make his Hibs dugout debut on July 14 in a second qualifying round first leg clash and even though that tie is just under a month away, the former Celtic boss does not envisage having his full compliment of players in that time.

As well as scouring the transfer market for new recruits, Lennon must also make decisions on members of the existing squad.

(Pic: HIbsTV)
(Pic: HIbsTV)

While defender Jordon Forster looks set to sign fresh terms, decisions have to be made on out of contract goalkeeper Conrad Logan and midfielder Kevin Thomson.

Defender Niklas Gunnarsson’s loan from Norwegian side Valerega has also expired.

Lennon, who has been working as a television pundit at France 2016 this week, said: “The Europa League comes really early and I don’t think I will have a lot of my squad finalised by then. I’m hoping to have a squad of 20.

“It will just depend on the draw. If the draw’s good then you can negotiate a couple of rounds and you never know where it can take us – and you can add a little bit of quality to what we’ll already have by then.

“It’s a bonus, that’s the way I’m looking at it at the minute. You never know what will come out of it.

“We’re certainly looking at key areas more than personnel at the minute.

“We’re at the very embryonic stages of what we’re trying to do. I’ve had a good chat with the head of recruitment (Graeme Mathie) and I’ll look at some footage of players that we’d like to bring in – possibly.

“Certainly I want to see some of the games we played in last year where we played well, and didn’t play well and we’ll see how we can improve on that.”


While Hibs were praised for their exciting brand of football last season, Lennon is keen to stress to his players that there is more than one way to win games.

He added: “I think we need to learn how to win ugly at times. We certainly have the talent to play good football.

“I think we need to change the mentality a bit that we can’t always do that. That’s easier said that done but its about getting the temperament and mentality right.”

Asked about his coaching style, Lennon, speaking to Hibs TV, added: “I’m on the training ground every day. I like my teams to work hard, I like a discipline in a team, I like them to have an edge.

“With my man-management, I think I’m good at getting the best out of players and motivating them.

“I worked under Martin O’Neill for ten years (at Leicester and Celtic), so I learned a lot under him.

“I think I’ve got good ideas on the game, I know the culture and the environment in Scotland.”