Neil Lennon planning Celtic talks after Dundee United clash in bid to keep Kris Commons at Hibs

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NEIL Lennon is planning to hold talks with Celtic after Friday night’s top-of-the-table clash with Dundee United in a bid to extend Kris Commons’ stay at Hibs.

Commons penned an initial one-month loan deal that is due to expire in the coming days but Lennon admits he would love to hang on to the former Scotland internationalist.

The 33-year-old netted the winner in the Hogmanay victory over Falkirk that took the Easter Road men back to the top of the Championship.

And, assuming he shakes off illness, Commons will again be expected to play a key role as Hibs seek to extend their lead over United.

Lennon commented: “It will be down to what Kris thinks as well, obviously, and on how talks go with Celtic.

“I haven’t had a chance to sit down and talk about it.

“His loan’s up [soon] so we will get this game out of the way and then we’ll sit down and talk with him over the next few days.

“There was definite ring-rustiness there, you could see that. You can now see him getting sharper and sharper in training.

“He was on the periphery of the [Falkirk] game at times but he still set a goal up and scored the winner so that’s what Kris can do.”

EDGE

Hibs made the most of United slipping to a surprise defeat at Dumbarton last week when Commons’ late free-kick earned a key victory over Falkirk.

And Lennon, who as a Celtic player and manager enjoyed the thrill of title battles with Rangers in the top-flight, has urged his side to revel in the visit of their biggest title challengers in the Championship.

He added: “Obviously it is first against second. If we win, we know whats at stake, we are four points clear. If we draw, we’re still top. If we lose, we are two points behind.

“So the gap is minimal either way but I think it is important psychologically for us to put in a good performance and win the game.

“You have to enjoy it. It’s under the lights as well which always adds a little bit of edge to the game.

“The players have played in big games before. They played in two cup finals last year and they’ve beaten Premiership teams along the way.

“They’ve been more or less top of the league for the majority of this season so they have handled things pretty well in the main.”

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