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Neil Lennon says he’s treating Hibs’ cup clash with Ross County as a pre-season match

Hibernian manager Neil Lennon speaks to the media (SNS Group / Bill Murray)
Hibernian manager Neil Lennon speaks to the media (SNS Group / Bill Murray)

NEIL LENNON will not be launching a full-scale inquest if his Hibernian side slip up against Ross County and is treating Friday night’s clash as nothing more than a pre-season warm-up.

Lennon believes the match will be a good test for his side but is not worrying too much about the result.

He said: “You say ‘at this stage of the season’ but for me it’s still pre-season.

“So it will not be a barometer of what lies ahead in the Premiership.

“We watched Ross County on Tuesday night, they have had two decent results so far. So yes it will be a very good test – but for me it won’t be a litmus test for what we’re going into. There won’t be a week’s worth of analysis if we lose.”

The League Cup format was changed last to include round-robin section.

Lennon has no issue with the competition set-up – just its mid-summer scheduling.

“I think with the format, it’s difficult because it’s so early,” he said. “You can end up being knocked out before you’ve really finished your preparations.

“I like the rest of the format with the group stage, I think it’s interesting. A lot of Premierships clubs went out early last year and we don’t want to fall into that trap. But sometimes it can be out of your control because of the timing.”

Efe Ambrose and Steven Whittaker – who rejoined the club from Norwich last week – are likely to get some much-needed minutes.

Lennon confirmed his latest new arrival Deivydas Matulevicius may also feature after joining from Belgian outfit Royal Mouscron.