Neil Lennon appointment a sign of intent for Hibs - Leeann Dempster

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Neil Lennon and Leeann Dempster
Leeann Dempster (right) at Neil Lennon's first news conference as Hibs boss

Leeann Dempster says the appointment of Neil Lennon as Hibernian's new head coach is an indication of how the club wants to progress.

Chief executive Dempster says she did not have to do too much in trying to persuade Lennon to take the job.

"The club has a great history, is a capital city club and I think it's a great club to work for," she explained.

"We met and we had long discussions and we felt the same about a number of things in football."

Dempster became chief executive at Easter Road two years ago, just as the club were being relegated to the Scottish Championship.

'We have to get promoted'

And she says, after Hibs failed at the play-offs in each of the past two seasons, there is only one aim for Neil Lennon and his assistant, Garry Parker, to achieve with the Scottish Cup winners.

"It's been a long journey," Dempster said. "If you think about this time two years ago we were starting a new club at that point.

"We have achieved a significant amount in two years. We haven't achieved promotion and that can be levelled at us, but we have tried very hard to do that.

"We went hard at it last year. I think at the end of the season we played 52 competitive matches.

Interview: Neil Lennon

"But there are no excuses, we have to get promoted. So our sole objective this year is to get promotion.

"Does that mean Europe is less important or the cups are less important? Every game is important, but I think our energy around recruitment has to be around the league."

Lennon has agreed a two-year deal and Dempster fully expects the 44-year-old to see out his contract and possibly stay longer.

"We certainly would like him to be here through the course of his contract and I think it just depends on how the relationship moves on, how he bonds with the club and us, but I would be delighted if Neil stayed on longer," she said. "I think we are on the same page.

"He has a winning mentality and he has played at a high level. I always think that is important when a manager goes into the dressing-room that players respect him for what he has achieved on his own.

"We have a strong support structure and great support staff."

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