Celts in management

Stewart tips Hibs to be Celtic’s biggest challengers

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Michael Stewart believes that Hibs can provide the strongest title challenge to Celtic- if they can get Neil Lennon nailed onto a new contract.

Talks are on-going about a new deal for the Irishman who ended three seasons in the second tier with promotion last season.

Under Lennon Hibs are expected to finish in the top six but as he looks at the other contenders Stewart believes that the biggest threat to Celtic could come from Easter Road.

Why can’t they follow Aberdeen’s lead and make a push to become Celtic’s main challenger for the next few years?” Stewart asks in The Sun.

Derek McInnes has done a fantastic job at Pittodrie and his own summer recruitment makes them favourites to finish second this year.

When you look at the attacking talent he has at his disposal, you need to applaud his work in the transfer market.

But Aberdeen must be jealous of the facilities Hibs have. Their players would love to be pitching up at a state-of-the-art training ground like East Mains every day.

The Pittodrie board must dream of having a modern stadium as they make a bid for a new home up north.

Yes, Hibs are playing catch-up to Aberdeen in a football sense but the facilities and location give them a huge boost as they try to close that gap. Elsewhere, Rangers are searching for consistency under Pedro Caixinha, while across Edinburgh Hearts are again looking for a new manager.

If ever there was a time for Hibs to really push on and move the club forward, it’s now.”

Lennon has funded his new signings from the sale of Jason Cummings to Nottingham Forest and is still hopeful of completing a deal to sign Kris Commons.

At lunchtime today they travel to face pointless Dundee at Dens Park knowing that a win would take them to just a point behind Celtic and St Johnstone in second place.

One date that Lennon will be well aware of is September 23 when he takes Hibs to Celtic Park for what is bound to be an emotional afternoon.

As well as Lennon facing Celtic for the first time Leigh Griffiths is likely to play against the club that he supported as a kid and twice led to appearances in the Scottish Cup Final.

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