Paul Hanlon will match Neil Lennon’s passion in coaching career

Paul Hanlon intends to take a leaf out of Neil Lennon's book. Picture: SNS.
Paul Hanlon intends to take a leaf out of Neil Lennon's book. Picture: SNS.
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Hibernian defender Paul Hanlon spent part of the international recess undergoing his first coaching course, with a view to the day when he hangs up his boots.

However, one attribute of successful managers the 27-year-old will not glean from any manual. Passion.

Hibs head coach Neil Lennon has it in abundance, though some Scottish referees may consider he has too much given his combustible nature on the sidelines.

Centre-half Hanlon has witnessed the former Celtic manager’s unadulterated obsession with winning at close quarters and would hope to emulate that trait should he move into coaching.

Ahead of today’s trip to 
St Johnstone, Hanlon, pictured, said: “What would I take from the gaffer? First and foremost, it would be how passionate he is about his work, and that’s something that definitely rubs off on the team.

“In every training session and every match, he’s passionate and wants to be the best, so that’s something I’d definitely want to take into my coaching career.

“Everyone can see the demands he puts on everyone at the club. He wants the best for us and he wants us to produce our best every day in training. We’ve had to adapt to that and keep our standards as high as possible, and I think that’s going to be good in the long run.

“He’s got that big-club mentality and he wants to bring it here and keep it here for the next few years.”

Lennon led Hibs to the Championship title last season in his first campaign in charge and the Hibs players
quickly realised that the Northern Irishman does not tolerate any drop in standards.

Tea cups have been thrown and the hairdryer has been turned on to full blast, but Hanlon insists he would not have it any other way.

“Personally, that’s the way I want my manager to be – that’s what gets the best out of me,” added Hanlon.

“Knowing that even if you do something right ten times, if you do it wrong once, he’s going to tell you. That’s the way I want to be coached and probably the way I perform best.”

Meanwhile, Alan Mannus concedes that Hibernian will make a top-six spot more difficult for St Johnstone, but the Saints goalkeeper is focused first simply on survival.

Saints have achieved a top-half finish for the past six years and started this season with three victories and a draw at Celtic Park but the 35-year-old Northern Ireland international said: “Every year we have been in the top six we have said it will be even harder next year and we keep managing to do it somehow.

“It will be more difficult with Hibs back. It is probably the strongest that the league has been in terms of looking at the top six, for the last five years or so. You can see who the favourites are for the top four or five so you still have one or two positions that other teams will be looking at – and we will certainly be trying to do that.

“Most importantly we don’t want to be in or around the relegation area towards the end of the season or at any point.

“Maybe people will think we don’t need to look at it that way but when you look at Dundee United or Hibs in the past, it can happen to clubs that are bigger than ourselves,It can very easily happen to us if we go on a poor run – so you want to avoid that.

“It is important that the club stays in this league and then if we have secured that then the next thing we want to do is be in the top six.”