Hibs defender Lewis Stevenson reveals team’s determination to make Neil Lennon happy

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Hibs defender Lewis Stevenson used to hear people talking about teams having a winning mentality and dismissed it as a football cliche.

However, after working under Neil Lennon for nearly a season-and-a-half, the long serving right-back now fully appreciates what it is like to get into habit of tasting success on the pitch.

Lennon is renowned for having an insatiable desire for success, and has already launched several ferocious post-match broadsides when his players have fallen short of his standards.

The former Celtic manager’s demands have paid off so far. After leading the Leith side to the Championship title last season to end their three-year stay in the second their, Hibs currently sit third in the Premiership following a four game winning run.

Stevenson insists there will be no let up in the players and Lennon’s pursuit of three points.

He said: “Honestly, when I’ve heard people talk about mentality in the past, I thought it didn’t really mean anything.

“I just assumed everybody just tries to win games and if you don’t win them, you don’t win them.

“But it is something I have noticed, we have this team spirit and belief, it’s not just that we want to win, we need to win.

“In the past we might have drawn a game and thought it was a decent result – but he’s not been happy, it hasn’t been good enough for him.

“It takes a bit of getting used to. It was different last season because we were expected to win every game in the Championship.

“I thought he might change when we went up – but he hasn’t let up at all.”

Stevenson, who is hoping to play his part in a fifth straight victory when St Johnstone visit Easter Road tomorrow, said: “People always used to say Hibs were a soft touch and I didn’t really see that.

“But the more we have become not a soft touch – if that makes sense – the more I do.

“The manager said it to us when he came in – and he still uses it from time to time and it hits us hard. We don’t want to be remembered as that.

“But it hasn’t been used for a while, and hopefully it stays that way.”

Stevenson admits the international break arrived at a good time for the Easter Road outfit after victories against Hearts, Motherwell, Kilmarnock and Dundee came within a 11 day period.

The 29-year-old added: “Sometimes when you are winning games you want to keep that momentum going.

“But the whole squad was struggling. Everyone had a niggle here and there.

“To go into those four games in two weeks and come away with 12 points, everyone was delighted.

“And I think the break came at a good time.

“We’re all refreshed and I think a few boys will be able to come back in as well.”

Stevenson, who has helped Hibs move to within five points of Celtic at the summit, added: “It is not just physical sometimes, it’s mental as well.

“It helps when you are winning, you get that adrenaline that keeps you going.

“He knew we had been giving our all over the past few weeks.

“But sometimes you need that to get you over the line.

“And we had that carrot dangling where if we got a result we’d get a few days off.”

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