Hibs head coach Neil Lennon tells Jason Cummings off-field attention is nothing compared to his nightmare



Hibs head coach Neil Lennon insists any off-field grief that Jason Cummings is getting is nothing compared to what he has experienced.

Lennon was reminded of the appalling personal abuse he suffered during his time as a Celtic player and manager during Thursday’s episode of the BBC documentary, Scotland’s Game.

In 2008, he was assaulted in the Glasgow’s trendy west end. Three years later, parcel bombs and bullets intended for Lennon were intercepted by the Royal Mail, and the Northern Irishman was attacked on the touchline during a game at Tynecastle by a Hearts fan.

neillennonCumming’s goal ratio and colourful personality have made him one of the most high-profile footballers in Edinburgh.

And it is thought the the level of unwanted attention Cummings, who has also made front page news for the wrong reasons, attracts was raised as a concern before he signed a new four-year deal with Hibs in July.

Lennon, however, insists nothing will come close to eclipsing what he suffered.

Lennon said: “Small-fish. I had that chat with him anyway and I know a lot of things with him would be exaggerated as well.

“I’m not saying he’s an angel but he’s not a bad boy at all. He’s a bit of a target.

“I’ve said, ‘whatever you’re going through, multiply it by a million and you might come close’.

“You can always accommodate that, whether he moves out a little bit from the city or we keep an eye on him. At the moment we’ve had no real issues.

“I didn’t want to move, I liked where I lived. It was not far from my work, I would have gone stir-crazy if I’d gone out to the country.

“I’m not ready for all that just yet. I was well briefed and well looked after by the intelligence people, who were brilliant.”

The Tynecastle attack on May 11 five years ago was a notable low for both Scottish football and Lennon.

He added: “I think everyone thought it was crazy, any sensible person would have thought the same.

“It was quite a tempestuous time for me personally on and off the field. It was an experience, not a great experience but an experience.

“Whether we’ve learned from it and moved on from it, I don’t know.”

Asked if life is more mundane away from the Glasgow goldfish bowl and working in Edinburgh at Hibs, Lennon added: “The post man is a lot happier these days, he’s sleeping quite easy at the minute.

“That’s how football should be, there is enough pressure with the job without all the other nonsense going with it. That’s why I am a bit more relaxed and enjoying life here.

“We’re winning games so it helps, I’ve got a good fit and a good feeling about this place since I walked in and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.”

Hibs take a break from Championship action to face Highland League outfit Turriff United in the third round of the Irn-Bru Cup today and defender Jordon Forster insists the Leith outfit can no longer be accused of being a one-trick pony.

That was a criticism that aimed at the club doing Alan Stubbs’ reign in the dugout.
Forster, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Plymouth, said: “We were maybe one-dimensional.

“We were a really good team and passed the ball very well. On our day we could beat anyone.

“But the gaffer has added a few more strings to our bow. I think we can win games in different ways now.

“We proved that against Falkirk on the first day of the season. It came back to 2-1 but we managed to see the game out and that was a massive boost. The manager has brought that added intensity.”