Hibs head coach Neil Lennon insists Efe Ambrose’s loan from Celtic has been an excellent piece of business for both parties

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Hibs head coach Neil Lennon insists defender Efe Ambrose’s loan from Celtic has been an excellent piece of business for both parties.

Ambrose moved to the Leith club in February on a deal until the rest of the season and notched his first goal in Saturday’s crucial top of the table Championship 2-1 victory over Falkirk.

The 28-year-old, who filled in at right-back for injured captain David Gray, nodded in James Keatings’ free-kick from close range before running to the dugout to celebrate with Lennon – the manager who signed him for him Celtic in 2012.

(Pic: HibsTV)

Lennon launched a staunch defence of the Nigerian when he brought him to Easter Road and claimed he had been unfairly mocked.

However, the Hibs boss insists Ambrose has proven in five games that he is still an outstanding defender.

Speaking to Hibs TV, Lennon said: “You can see what it means to him to be back playing football, the Hibs public here see what a class player he is.

“He is playing right back, he is not a bona fide right back but I can trust him in that position and at centre half he has been superb.

“I think this has been good for both parties, I think it’s been excellent for Efe to get his profile back in the right manner, a positive manner – and show Scotland, Britain, Europe and the people back home in Nigeria what a class act he is.

“He really enjoyed the moment and he has been a great piece of business for us.”

Keatings notched a stunning stoppage time winner at the weekend to send Hibs ten points clear of Fakirk and Morton at the summit.

Third place Ton are the visitors on Wednesday evening and Lennon insists victory over Jim Duffy’s side, who have a game in hand, will effectively seal the Championship title.

He added: “If we win, I think that’s it. We would need to lose maybe four games on the bounce and they would need to win all their games, there is no guarantee of that.

“We’ll get ready for another big game on Wednesday but it was a great start to this double header we’ve got.”

Lennon, meanwhile, insists midfielder Dylan McGeouch can become a key player for his side if he manages to avoid injury after the former Celtic trainee impressed in only his eighth league start of the season on Saturday.

Lennon added: “It’s good having McGeouch back, he has been injury-laden throughout his career really and he’s an important player when he’s fit but he needs to stay fit if he’s going to have a significant input in football.

“He’s an important player and I thought he played well against Falkirk.

“I think Dylan has that wee bit of creativity, he’s got good feet but we’ve not seen enough of it. He needs to add to his goal tally if he wants to go on and he needs to play more games.”

Hibs, meanwhile, have announced a retail and kit supply agreement with PSL and Macron that will start next season.

Italian key manufacture Marcon already supply kits for Ross County, Motherwell, Scottish Rugby, Crystal Palace and Sporting Lisbon.

Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster said: “Macron are keen to put Hibernian at the centre of their drive to build their business in the UK.

“Their business model allows us to create unique, high quality home and away kits and we are excited to share the new kit designs with the fans in In the close season.”

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