Friday, August 12, 2022
SportHibsHibs boss Neil Lennon insists his side need to overcome weather and...

Hibs boss Neil Lennon insists his side need to overcome weather and mental challenge at ‘trickiest’ ground in Championship


Hibs head coach Neil Lennon insists the mental challenge and weather make Dumbarton’s Cheaper Insurance Direct stadium the most difficult venue in the Championship.

Lennon has warned his players that their four-point lead at the summit will literally be in danger of being blown off track at the exposed 2,000 seater ground.

Title rivals Dundee United, whom they beat 3-0 last Friday, have already lost twice there this season, while Hibs needed a Jason Cummings penalty to settle the contest at Dumbarton in September.

Dumbarton’s Cheaper Insurance Direct stadium

And the former Celtic boss insists there is no chance his team will take Saturday’s match lightly.

He said: “This is a dangerous game for us. I think it’s the trickiest venue to go in the Championship, particularly with the inclement weather at the minute.

“So it’s a very difficult game. Watching the Dundee United game (a fortnight ago), there was a gale blowing one way down the pitch.

“It’s almost impossible to play any kind of free flowing football so it becomes a bit of a lottery sometimes.

“I might have to look at team selection because the wind plays a huge part down there as the stadium is so open.

“And to be fair to Dumbarton, Stevie Aitken has done a great job – they’ve had some really positive results.”

Lennon admits his players will also have to adapt to going from an adrenaline-inducing 19,000 Easter Road crowd to less glamorous surroundings at the Rock.

“That’s part of being in any division,” he added. “You could be at the Emirates one week then Bournemouth in front of 12,000 the next.

“It’s no different for us, a Friday night game live on the telly and the atmosphere is great.

“They responded brilliantly to that, now it’s a different venue and different opposition – different conditions.

“You have to adapt to it very quickly as well otherwise you could come unstuck. Psychologically, I think the players are aware of what’s ahead of them.”

Lennon was given a pleasant boost this week after realising that he was mistaken in thinking that Kris Common’s month-long loan deal would expire on January 10.

However, the club’s attempts to prolong the Scotland cap’s stay have not moved on ahead of what could potentially be Common’s last game for Hibs against the Sons.

“We’re not further down the line,” admitted Lennon. “There are more things to consider this time, for the player and Celtic as well.

“It’s a question of finance as well whether we can do it over a length of time.

“I think he is enjoying it here and it’s been good for him, I think he’s starting to show.

“It’s been good for him and it’s been good for us.

“I think it’s worked for both of us. We’re four points clear now, we weren’t when he came in.

“He won us the game at Falkirk and he played a big part in the game last week as well. He is a class player.”

Lennon, meanwhile, insists he was not aware of any reported interest in 12-goal striker Cummings from English Championship clubs Queens Park Rangers and Barnsley.

He added: “It’s news to me. He’s not for sale, I want to keep him.

“He’s the leading goal scorer and I want to keep him.

“I want to look after business at our end. If he keeps progressing the way he is then there is no reason why there won’t be other suitors out there as well for him.

“I want him here because he is a very important player and we made that clear at the start of the season.”

Neal Eardley’s time at Easter Road has come to an end, however, after the right back joined English outside Northampton following the expiry of his short-tern deal in Leith.

Eardley made two substitute appearances after joining in September.

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