06 Jan Lennon’s surprise surprise
Neil Lennon admitted he was surprised by his Hibernian team after watching them blow title rivals Dundee United away.
A first-half double from Jason Cummings and a late third from John McGinn sealed a dominant 3-0 win at Easter Road.
The win moved Hibs four points ahead of Ray McKinnon’s Taysiders at the top of the Ladbrokes Championship b ut Lennon confessed even he was not expecting his side to win so comfortably.
The Northern Irishman – who watched new signing Chris Humphrey tee up both of Cummings’ goals on his debut – said: “I couldn’t have asked for any more. It was an outstanding team performance and the best I’ve witnessed since I’ve been here.
“We were up against a very good side who have been very consistent for the last three months.
“For us to play as well as that and dominate as well as that speaks volumes about the level of performance.
“It was a bit of a gamble playing Chris as he’s not played for three months and we agonised over the team right up until about 5.30pm.
“Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but thankfully he played well.
“It has made me very proud. It has surprised me, I wasn’t expecting us to play as strongly as that.”
Hibs took just six minutes to grab control, with Cummings slotting home after Humphrey’s mis-placed shot broke to him in the box.
The striker netted again on 26 minutes after former Motherwell winger Humphrey outpaced the United backline before crossing.
McGinn, a late substitute, wrapped up victory with a classy individual effort after returning from two months out following ankle surgery.
McKinnon said: “It was very disappointing. It was game over after losing the first two goals so early on.
“They were terrible goals to lose and left us with a mountain to climb. We didn’t deserve anything out of the game.
“But we’re not giving up. Four points is nothing in this league. If you’d said to me we’d need to overturn a four-point gap with 16 games left to win the league, I’d have bitten your hand off.”