MX23RW : Friday, October 30 16:27:14| >> :120:7135:7135:

Neil Lennon pays tribute to Ryan Porteous ahead of reunion

Neil Lennon pays tribute to Ryan Porteous ahead of reunion
© Reuters
Neil Lennon gave Ryan Porteous his debut.

Neil Lennon threw Ryan Porteous into first-team action because he was worried about holding the Hibernian youngster back.

But the Celtic boss has warned his former Easter Road apprentice that it may be time to tone down his aggressive streak for the good of his career.

Lennon was Hibs boss back in 2017 and admitted he had no choice but to hand Porteous his first-team debut in a Betfred Cup clash at Montrose given his burgeoning talent.

He also trusted the Dalkeith defender to make his first top-flight start at Ibrox later that season and was rewarded as Porteous shone in a shock 2-1 win over Graeme Murty's Rangers.

But the Scotland Under-21 ace has since then gone on to enjoy a tempestuous relationship with the Light Blues.

He was sent off for an unsavoury tackle on Borna Barisic last term and was at the centre of controversy again during Sunday's 2-2 draw with Gers, treading a fine line with his behaviour.

Having been booked for an off-the-ball barge on Alfredo Morelos, he then got involved in a spat at the final whistle with the Colombian, James Tavernier and boss Steven Gerrard as they snubbed his offer of a handshake.

There is a danger of him gaining a reputation as a hot-head – and that would disappoint Lennon who is a major fan of his committed style.

The Hoops manager – who will be reunited with his former student when Hibs travel to Celtic Park on Sunday – said: "I think he quite likes it. I think he's that type of character.

"When he was coming through the ranks at Hibs you could tell he had leadership qualities. He was head and shoulders above the majority of his peers.

"I gave him his debut because we didn't want to hold him back. Ironically, he made his first league start at Ibrox and he was outstanding.

"He's had a couple of bad injuries that have curtailed his progress but he's a strong, strong boy.

"He's aggressive and he maybe needs to temper the aggression a little bit.

"But he's a very good centre-half for his age."

Jack Ross has got Hibs back on track after the Leith outfit's failed experiment with Lennon's successor Paul Heckingbottom.

And Lennon has warned his team they will be coming up against a side as dangerous as they come in Scotland.

"It is a tough game," he said. "Hibs will be buoyed by a good performance and a very good result last weekend.

"They made a great start to the season. They are playing with a lot of confidence.

"Hibs are a huge threat. They're as good as anybody in the division.

"I know a lot of the players. I know Martin Boyle and I think the two strikers have done well, Kevin Nesbit and Christian Doidge.

"Doidge can be a goalscorer and Nesbit has hit the ground running in the Premiership.

"They are a threat. There's no question of that.

"I've been gone from there 18 months now. They've got a new manager in, new players. Jack is putting his own stamp on the team and you can see with their success that he's a very good manager."

ID:415984:cQx

Click here for more stories about Neil Lennon

Click here for more stories about Celtic

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
General view of Easter Road, home to Hibernian, from 2014
Read Next:
Joe Newell: 'We can pick up a positive result against Celtic'
>
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1RangersRangers1210202832532
2Celtic1182128101826
3Hibernian127321710724
4Aberdeen117221711623
5Kilmarnock114251513214
6Dundee UnitedDundee Utd12345816-813
7Ross County12336720-1312
8Motherwell103251113-211
9Livingston123271320-711
10St Johnstone12327916-711
11St Mirren10217615-97
12Hamilton AcademicalHamilton112181325-127

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!