Neil Lennon pledges to toughen up ‘boyband’ Hibs players

Neil Lennon believes Hibs have been too soft in recent years. Picture: Neil Hanna
Neil Lennon believes Hibs have been too soft in recent years. Picture: Neil Hanna
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Neil Lennon has derided what he describes as a “boyband” attitude in recent Hibs teams, which he believes caused a general level of underachievement at a club now preparing for a third successive year of second tier football.

The new Hibs manager
pulled no punches in a 
typically forthright maiden media conference at Easter Road yesterday.

Lennon insists he will simply not accept the level of inconsistency which most recently undermined last season’s second failed promotion bid under his predecessor Alan Stubbs.

While the former Celtic and Bolton manager believes the squad that he inherits will 
benefit from ending Hibs’ 
114-year wait for Scottish Cup glory last month, he will demand they display that winning mentality on a more regular basis in pursuit of the Championship title and 
automatic promotion.

Lennon is also adamant that he can deliver that success without completely compromising the traditional demands from the Hibs support for attractive football.

“I agree Hibs have been soft, I’ve been one of the first to say that about them,” said Lennon.

“Boyband, boyband. That’s what I felt about Hibs, from when I first came to Scottish football as a player for Celtic.

“I played against Scott Brown and Steven Whittaker, lads like that. They would play Celtic, play really well and then go out partying in Edinburgh, getting pats on the back. Then they would go and lose to Motherwell the week after.

“That won’t be tolerated here by me.

“I don’t want them getting pats on the back for beating Raith Rovers or drawing away at Dumbarton. I’ll give them 
a pat on the back if they win promotion.

“They’ve got to learn quickly. It’s not acceptable for a club of this standard.”

Lennon added: “Inconsistency won’t be tolerated. Or ill-
discipline. And, yes, I know that’s a bit of poacher turned gamekeeper.

“There’s a culture here that the club plays good football, going back to the Famous Five, and I want to buy into that.

“The teams that Tony Mowbray produced at Hibs were good footballing teams. They did really well, finishing third and fourth in the top flight.

“That’s where we want to