NEIL LENNON gave Hibernian supporters another boost after his side’s Europa League success in Greece when he revealed he was close to re-signing Australian striker Jamie Maclaren.
Hibs secured a tie against Norwegian side Molde in the third-qualifying round after a 1-1 draw against Asteras Tripolis saw them claim a 4-3 aggregate win.
Lennon confirmed before the game that he was close to finalising a loan deal for Manchester City winger Thomas Agyepong and there could be a flurry of transfer activity with Maclaren set for a return to Easter Road following a successful loan spell last season.
“We’re very close to one or two, with Jamie we are close enough, but nothing’s guaranteed in this game,” Lennon told BBC Radio Scotland.
Hibs took the lead in Greece through John McGinn two minutes from half-time and the home side were reduced to 10 men just after the break following Michalis Manias’ sending-off.
But Hibs struggled after Efe Ambrose was caught out for Kosmas Tsilianidis’ 56th-minute equaliser and survived a string of chances with Lennon hailing a “world-class” save from Adam Bogdan to claw a header out from his line.
Lennon said: “We were comfortable and the game changes on a sending-off, when really we should have full control of the game. We take a negative step and invite the pressure.
“The psychology of the game changed when they got the equaliser, you saw what a lift they got. And even with 10 men, we couldn’t get to grips with the pressure and we didn’t manage the game as well as I would have liked.
“That’s the negatives but there were so many positives. Over a game and a half, we were brilliant.
“Two years ago we were playing in the Scottish Championship and now we have beaten one of the best teams in Greece. We rode our luck at times but they did in the first leg. On the balance of the two games, we probably deserve to go through.”