Neil Lennon not fazed by Tynecastle return

Neil Lennon is confident he will be safe in the Tynecastle dugout on Sunday when he returns for the first time since he was attacked by a fan in May.

"I'm sure measures will be in place and it will probably be the safest place for me to be," said the Celtic manager.

"It was an embarrassment for a lot of people and I don't want to go through that again.

"I am basically more concerned about the way we play and getting the three points."

Celtic's 3-0 win at Tynecastle on 11 May was was marred by the incident involving supporter John Wilson, who emerged from behind the technical area to throw himself at Lennon.

Wilson admitted attacking Lennon in court and was given an eight-month jail sentence for breach of the peace.

However, the charge of assault, aggravated by religious prejudice, was controversially found not proven.

Lennon refused to comment on the punishment, saying: "I don't make the law, I just try to abide by it as best I can."

Hearts have had a change of manager since Lennon's last visit to Gorgie and the new incumbent hopes there will be no repeat of the disgraceful scenes.

"This is the kind of thing that should not happen in football," said Paulo Sergio.

"I hope this time we are talking about the football with a good referee, two good teams, and the best crowd in Scotland. Hearts fans are incredible and we should respect our opponents."

Lothian and Borders Police chief superindendant Gill Imrie told BBC Scotland: "From the policing side, plans are largely unchanged from May but there are arrangements between police, stewards and clubs to make sure the areas around the dugouts have some additional resource and are more protected.

"Our aim is to protect the vast majority of people who want to have a good time at the match."

For all the talk of his ordeal in May, Lennon was more interested in closing the gap on Scottish Premier League leaders Rangers.

"The only thing I'm nervous about is my team doesn't play as well as we can," he added.

"It is a tough game and it is a difficult place to go and win."

Top Stories