Neil Lennon won’t allow Hibs to ease off says Marvin Bartley

Marvin Bartley reports that manager Neil Lennons winning mentality is rubbing off on the players. Picture: SNS.

Marvin Bartley reports that manager Neil Lennons winning mentality is rubbing off on the players. Picture: SNS.

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Hibs midfielder Marvin Bartley insists the players could get away with dropping their standards under Alan Stubbs last season.

But the 30-year-old admits there is no chance that the squad will become complacent following their five-game winning start to the Championship because Neil Lennon has such high demands.

The euphoria of winning the Scottish Cup in May for the first time in 114 years made up for the disappointment of failing to clinch promotion back to the top flight as Stubbs could not prevent the Leith side’s league charge petering out.

Former Bournemouth and Burnley midfielder Bartley, however, insists former Celtic manager Lennon’s winning mentality is rubbing off on the players.

Bartley, who hopes to help Hibs set a new club record by clinching a sixth straight successive league win in today’s visit of Ayr United, said: “Everyone is working so hard on the training pitch. The gaffer keeps us in check, us older boys try and help as well.

“You see him on the side of the pitch, well he’s worse in training.

“He demands high standards at all times. I fall short of them sometimes and I hear: ‘Marv! Marv!’

“It’s like being back home with my mum.

“It’s nothing personal, he just wants the best for everybody in every position. That’s just the way he gets his point across and who are we to argue?

“We have got five wins out of five in the league, so long may it continue.

“No-one here is getting complacent, not at all.

“Before boys could have taken their foot off the gas and still think they were going to play.

“It doesn’t happen now. Standards are so high. Everyone is putting their all in.

“You can’t train great every day but you can put the effort in, it makes a huge difference.

“And we are carrying that on to Saturdays.

“So for us it has been massively different and long may that continue.”

The difference in the Hibs team’s resolve was highlighted last Saturday when they dug out a hard-fought 1-0 win at Dumbarton, a venue where they lost twice last season.

Bartley added: “I understand what the gaffer is saying that he took a lot of satisfaction from the result.

“Previously we had gone there and drawn and lost because they put us under pressure.

“But a win’s a win for me. The performance wasn’t great but we won the game.

“Come the end of the season no-one will look back and say, ‘they weren’t great in that game’. It’s three points, five wins out of five.”

Despite Lennon, who revealed yesterday that he has placed a blanket ban on the use of mobile phones at their East Mains training base, placing such high demands on the players, Bartley insists 
the changing room spirit is one of the best he has 
experienced.

He added: “I haven’t had a start to a season like this in my career before.

“I have been in some good dressing rooms before but here, right now, everyone is delighted.

“Even the boys who aren’t playing, everyone is together.

“I know everyone says that but they really are here, we’re all pulling in the same direction, even the boys who 
aren’t playing, we’re all in it together.

“Since May it has been brilliant – everyone is on the green train and it keeps rolling.

“We can’t get complacent, we can’t get silly with it.

“We need to keep going and grinding out results and that starts all over again against Ayr.”

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