Neil Lennon vows to return to management after ‘great’ time at Hibs

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Neil Lennon has vowed to return to management with the same energy following his departure from Hibs.

• READ MORE: Hibs’ top-six challenge gives Paul Heckingbottom little time to find his feet

Neil Lennon has vowed to return to management following his Hibs spell. Picture: SNS/Paul Devlin

Neil Lennon has vowed to return to management following his Hibs spell. Picture: SNS/Paul Devlin

The Northern Irishman was suspended by the Easter Road side last month before leaving the club by mutual consent following a two-and-a-half year spell in Leith.

During his time at Hibs, he led the side back into the Premiership and into Europe - a period which he said was “great”. On Wednesday evening the Hibees appointed Paul Heckingbottom as their new head coach.

Lennon will take time out of management, pick up media work and watch games waiting for his next opportunity.

“Like every period when you leave a job, you take stock of things,” he told Scottish Sun. “Being a manager is intense, extremely demanding. I’m very much the type who puts his heart and soul into the job. It’s who I am, it’s what’s made me successful.

“But I’m only 47. It’s definitely still an ambition of mine to manage again, to coach again.

“I think I’m a better manager now than I’ve ever been. No question.

“Celtic was a phenomenal experience for me, the highs and lows, the triumphs at home and in Europe.

“Bolton didn’t go anywhere near how I wanted it. It was difficult. But it still opened my eyes to other aspects of football and made me stronger.

“Every experience, good or bad, makes you a better manager. My time at Hibs was great, I’m very proud of what I achieved there.”

Lennon’s horizons are open in terms of what lies next, whether it is England, Scotland or abroad. But whatever lies next he will continue to approach the job with passion and look to play a positive style of football with Hibs fans having witnessed their side score 219 goals during his tenure.

“I’m approaching ten years as a manager,” he said. “I’m well over 400 games in the dugout now. I’ve got plenty of experience, I’ve learned a lot. I still feel I’ve got plenty to offer.

“I think you always have to have the energy. People call it passion, I just call it energy. That hunger to win.

“When I look at the top managers and style of play, say Brendan Rodgers at Celtic, or the top three teams in England, I always think that playing attacking football is the best way. I’d like to adopt that style wherever I go next.

“You do make adjustments as you go along. You get older, you get more experienced. You mellow a little bit. You realise you can’t be like when you were younger — wanting to fight the world.

“But you still have to have the energy. That ambition. I don’t think that ever leaves you.”

• READ MORE: Paul Heckingbottom: Club structure can help me achieve success at Hibs

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