10 Mar Neil Lennon delighted with Hibernian midfield trio after Edinburgh derby win
Hibernian head coach Neil Lennon hailed his central midfield trio after they impressed in Friday night’s 2-0 derby win over Hearts.
John McGinn bossed the middle of the park with a powerful display while Dylan McGeouch stroked the ball around as Hibs dominated possession. And Scott Allan got the breakthrough in some style when he rasped a left-footed strike into the bottom corner from 22 yards.
Celtic midfielder Allan is still building up to 90-minute displays after swapping loans from Dundee to Hibs but his two midfield partners could feature for Scotland later this month on this form.
McGinn is a certainty to retain his place when Scotland boss Alex McLeish names his squad on Monday for friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary while McGeouch has been making a strong case for representation.
Lennon said: “There were a couple of things not coming off for Scotty but the difference between Scott Allan of maybe six months or a year ago is he didn’t let his head go down. He kept wanting the ball and trying to be brave on the ball. His goal was exquisite.
“In the end he was starting to tire a bit but you saw him going back in the corner and making a tackle and getting us out of trouble. So he can be delighted with the contribution he is making.
“And McGinn and McGeouch….. McGeouch is a sublime player and McGinn was just awesome, absolutely awesome. Even in the first half when the game was in the throes, he was the one driving the team forward and making tackles and getting us playing. The second half I thought he was the best player on the pitch by a country mile, just brilliant.
“It was the sum of all parts – strikers were good, defenders were strong and (Martin) Boyle was a real threat all night as well.”
Lennon branded Hearts “irrelevant” to his side after they moved 12 points clear of their Edinburgh rivals in the Ladbrokes Premiership and Hearts manager Craig Levein found it difficult to argue with his counterpart’s assessment that there is a gap between the teams.
Levein said: “It’s hard for me to say no because the points tell a story, don’t they? Friday’s game was probably typical of how the season has gone for both teams. We didn’t quite manage to gel and Hibs kept at it and got the goals through persistence.
“The frustrating thing was we competed, went toe to toe, didn’t feel we were under any pressure at all, and losing those goals was sickening.”