Neil Lennon: Hibs new boss sets Premiership promotion target

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Neil Lennon has replaced Alan Stubbs as Hibernian head coach

New Hibernian head coach Neil Lennon has targeted promotion to the Scottish Premiership after saying he has joined “one of the biggest clubs in Scotland”.

Former Celtic and Bolton Wanderers manager Lennon, 44, has signed a two-year deal at Easter Road.

He has replaced Alan Stubbs, who left for Rotherham United after guiding Hibs to the Scottish Cup.

“The remit is to get them out of this division and that’s the challenge that lies ahead for me,” he said.

“It feels great. I’m very excited. The more I thought about coming here, the more the excitement and anticipation built.

“The infrastructure is fantastic. The club’s in a good place.

“I think it’s one of the biggest clubs in Scotland. I think it’s probably punching below its weight the last couple of seasons and I think the potential here is huge to get it going again.”

‘This isn’t a short-term thing’

Fans flocked to watch Hibs parade the Scottish Cup in the capital

Lennon inherits the bulk of a squad who won the Scottish Cup but missed out on promotion from the Championship after losing to Falkirk in the play-offs.

Hibs will enter the Europa League qualifiers in mid-July.

“You’ve seen what success can bring,” Lennon said. “There are 150,000 people on the streets of Edinburgh when they won the cup. That was a by-product of why I wanted to come here. It’s a great club and it’s a privilege to be here.

“This isn’t a short-term thing for me. I’d like to be here for a while if I could. There’s no guarantees of that, obviously. It’s a good fit for me.

“It feels like I’ve got a real challenge on my hands. That’s what I need. I’m a football animal. I want to work and I want to be successful.

“We will endeavour in every competition that we participate in. We’ve got the Europa League coming up very quickly. Obviously, that’s a tester for us because the games come so early. If we could manage into the group stage, that’d be fantastic.

“It might be difficult at the start of the season because we’ll probably not have the full squad in place by then but it’s another challenge that lies ahead.”

Chief executive Leeann Dempster added: “Our ambition has to be getting back into the top tier of the game in Scotland and, when we achieve that, to try to participate at as high a level as we possibly can.”

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