NEIL LENNON isn’t scared to speak his mind.
So when he says he’s considering his position at Hibs, you had better believe that’s exactly what he’s doing.
The prospect of losing his best players this summer won’t sit well with him.
Neil’s too driven to put up with that.
And I reckon there will more than a few clubs in England sitting up and taking notice of what he’s been saying and doing over the last few days.
I know for a fact the job Lenny has done at Easter Road has not gone unnoticed south of the border.
Indeed, just a few months ago, at Cheltenham races, I had a chat with Sir Alex Ferguson about it.
We were talking away about the Scottish game and Sir Alex was very, very complimentary about Neil.
I really mean that – he was absolutely singing the Hibs boss’s praises.
Now, Fergie is a man of influence – and I’m delighted he’s doing well after his health issues – so I don’t think our chat was a throwaway one.
It made me think that Lenny might have a great chance of landing at a just-relegated club such as West Brom or Stoke City.
Or maybe even Leicester City who won the Premier League just two years ago!
Claude Puel could definitely go this summer. And with Neil’s Leicester affiliation, having played with them for four years between 1996 and 2000 before his move to Celtic, why not?
After all, he really has done brilliantly at Hibs. For a newly-promoted team to be in with a chance of finishing second until the last week of the season is remarkable by anyone’s standards.
The problem is that the standards Lenny holds himself to are incredibly high.
He had his sights set on second place and he is disappointed he didn’t get there.
His response to that is one full of passion.
Some of his critics have stated he’s been petulant since losing to Hearts, and have cast doubts on just why he missed training on Friday. But I don’t see that.
Instead, I see the emotional side of the guy.
And I can promise you, behind that passion, Neil is absolutely sound as a pound.
I’ve met him loads of times – before games, after games, and I’ve had a few pints with him.
He’s as good as gold.
Neil’s battle with depression has been well documented. And, yes, he’s blown his top a few times over the years.
To be honest, I can understand why given some of the awful abuse he has had to deal with over the years.
But, at Hibs, I really think he is showing how good a manager he is, and the Easter Road side should be desperate to hang on to him.
It seems certain that they’ll lose a raft of stars this summer.
If they lose their gaffer, too, it could be a really difficult blow to recover from.
But the fact is, if Hibs don’t have the money to hand Neil to replace the guys he may lose – guys like John McGinn and Dylan McGeouch – like for like, what can they do?
That’s where Neil’s personal ambitions come into play.
I think it was a coup for Hibs to get Neil in the first place, particularly as a Championship club, which they were at the time.
The job he has done over the last two seasons proves that.
If Lenny reckons he’s at risk of being dragged backwards by things beyond his control, he won’t stick about.
Frankly, he shouldn’t be expected to.