Lennon talks Swanson

Neil Lennon was delighted to see Danny Swanson impress with a goal in Hibernian’s 3-2 Betfred Cup quarter-final win over Livingston on Tuesday.

Swanson, a lifelong Hibs fan, joined the club in the summer but has yet to earn a regular spot in the starting line-up.

The former St Johnstone midfielder has featured prominently in the cup, however, and returned to the team with an impressive performance and a goal which helped book a place in the semi-finals for Lennon’s men.

It was an emotional moment for Swanson – who dedicated the goal to his late friend Shaun Woodburn who died on New Year’s Day – and Lennon admitted it had been a tough time for his new signing.

“His all-round game looked sharp, and even defensively he gave his all for the team,” Lennon told HibsTV.

“He tired towards the end but he can be very, very pleased.

“He has a lot on his plate at the minute away from the game, but we had a chat about it the other day and we’re here to support him.

“He is going through a difficult time, but once that’s over I’m sure he’ll blossom.

“(On Tuesday night) he showed real good character to go out and play the way he did, so I’m really pleased for him.”

Swanson was on target for Hibs with a well-taken curling effort after Alan Lithgow’s opener, but Raffaele De Vita’s stunning strike put Livingston back ahead.

Martin Boyle impressed throughout and got his name on the scoresheet before the break, before Anthony Stokes’ late penalty earned the win for Lennon’s side.

Lennon suffered a blow early in the first half as captain David Gray limped off with a hamstring injury, but he was unsure how serious it was.

The Hibs boss said: “I think when he went to stretch to pull a cross back he just felt a twinge. We just have to wait and see what the diagnosis is.”

Livi boss David Hopkin was left disappointed but not disheartened after the defeat, with his side only recently promoted back to the second tier of Scottish football.

“I’m delighted with the young players and my whole squad because we gave Hibs a very good game,” he said.

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