BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
NEIL LENNON has praised goalkeeper Ofir Marciano after the Israeli international claimed his fourth clean sheet from five outings.
The Northern Irishman has been candid in his criticism of the Hibees’ attacking prowess, with young striker Jason Cummings learning the brunt of his ire after a wasteful showing against Queen of the South on Saturday.
However, Lennon had no such concerns about his back-line during the 0-0 stalemate with the Championship’s shock leaders, with Marciano making a fine late save to deny Dale Hilson.
The Northern Irishman reckons the assured display was all the more impressive given the wind and rain that battered Dumfries during the contest, while he also lauded the showings of “outstanding” Paul Hanlon and combative John McGinn.
“He made a brilliant near the end and that is another clean sheet for Ofir [Marciano],” said Lennon.
“It wasn’t an easy one because it has bounced up in front of him and he’s got a good hand on it.
“That makes it four clean sheets in five games and I am very pleased by that. It couldn’t have been easy for him out there, it was a difficult game in difficult conditions, but he has done well.
“Now we need to take that momentum from the back, where we look solid, to front and create more chances with that possession we have.”
Experienced defender Hanlon excelled in the heart of the Hibs back-line before he was shifted to the left-back role following the red card dished out to Lewis Stevenson.
McGinn, meanwhile, forced a splendid stop from Lee Robinson when his ferocious, dipping drive from distance threatened to nick all three points for the capital club.
And Lennon has urged the rest of the Hibs dressing room to “grab on to their coat tails” ahead of this weekend’s mouth-watering visit of Dundee United.
“Paul [Hanlon] was outstanding and John [McGinn], I thought, was exceptional,” lauded Lennon.
“But there were some who got opportunities and did not take them. I am looking for more from some of them.
“I was happy with some individual performances, Paul and John were really outstanding and some need to grab on to their coat tails and come with them.”