‘It’s not football’ – Hibs boss Neil Lennon fears injury for Scotland star John McGinn as opponents set out to ‘just kick him’

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NEIL LENNON fears John McGinn will pick up a serious injury after seeing the Hibs star targeted by opponents yet again at the weekend.

Both Ross Draper and Christopher Routis were booked by referee Bobby Madden for fouls on the Scotland internationalist in the space of less than a minute in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Ross County.

It was McGinn’s first match back after serving a two-match suspension and Lennon has accused the Staggies pair of employing anti-football tactics in their attempts to stifle the 23-year-old.

Last month, Lennon hit out at St Johnstone’s Blair Alston for an ‘unacceptable’ tackle on McGinn and also referenced another ‘professional foul’ committed by Hearts youngster Harry Cochrane in the Edinburgh derby back in October.

The Easter Road boss has been critical of the officials at times this season but admits referee Bobby Madden’s handling of the weekend’s incidents was spot on.

However, the Northern Irishman is concerned that McGinn could suffer serious repercussions if opponents continue with their cynical methods of halting the midfielder.

He said: “Again, we’re talking about people kicking John McGinn; two in a matter of seconds, just kicking him.

“All Bobby [Madden] can do, to be fair, is book them.

“But it’s not football that. There’s no intention to play the ball, it’s just kicking the opponent.

HURT

“John’s a strong boy, but he’s going to get hurt one of these days.

“He could pick up damaged ankle ligaments or a twist or dislocation. It’s just not football, for me.”

Lennon was disappointed his side needed a last-minute strike from Oli Shaw to earn a 1-1 draw with County after dominating for long spells of a frustrating match.

But, with a three point gap now to Rangers and Aberdeen above them in the table as they enter the top-six split, Lennon was pleased with the impact made by Shaw and fellow substitute Danny Swanson, who set up the equaliser.

Lennon added to Hibs TV: “That’s what you want from your subs.

“We gambled a little bit, but at this stage of the season you’ve got to go for it.

“We kept plugging away and it was a great finish from Oli and a great ball from Danny, so they can be pleased with their contribution.”

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