Hearts boss admits he will miss old foe Neil Lennon

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Hearts manager Craig Levein admits player power has changed how football bosses operate as he confessed that he will miss Neil Lennon.

Hibs finally confirmed Lennon’s departure by mutual consent on Thursday in the wake of last Friday’s heated team meeting that led to the former Celtic captain and manager being suspended before being absolved of any blame.

As fierce Edinburgh rivals on the pitch, Levein and Lennon have both engaged in verbal sparring, particularly after the Hearts manager’s ‘natural order’ remarks last January.

CRAIG LEVEIN at a press conference

However, Lennon was among the first well-wishers when Levein suffered a heart-attack last August and the former Scotland manager is disappointed to see his old adversary move on.

He said: “I will miss Neil Lennon, I will. I think he is a good guy and I’m sure he will get another job fairly soon. 

“I don’t know what happened but he is a good guy. 

“You can’t always be friendly with people just by the very nature of what he is doing and what I’m doing but I did get on well with him away from the football. 

“It is hard in the football environment, you are always wary of letting your guard down or saying something you will regret or giving something away. 

“We are all competitors but I think there is a great deal of empathy within the group of managers in the Premiership in Scotland.”

Given the reported events that led to Lennon standing down, Levein admits the dynamics of a dressing room have become different in recent years.

He added: “It has changed a lot even from me coming back in (2017).

“The last time I was managing in club football was back in 2010 and between then and now there have been a lot of changes and there is a different feel to managing now than there was back then. 

“There are more questions asked than there used to be. Players are asking more questions about why they are not playing and now you have to give them an answer. 

“In the past you told them to just shut up!”

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