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LENNON’S PLEA TO COMMONS

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HIBS boss Neil Lennon has revealed he will speak to on-loan Celtic forward Kris Commons about his future at the start of next week.

The former Celtic gaffer is focusing on tonight’s game at Easter Road where he hopes to lead his side to a win over title rivals Dundee United to extend their lead at the top of the Championship to four points.

After that, he will have talks with Commons, who hooked up with his ex-Parkhead chief on an emergency loan on December 16 and is due to leave on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old midfielder underlined his importance when he fired in a free-kick winner against Falkirk at the weekend to shoot the Edinburgh men into pole position while the Tannadice side slumped at Dumbarton.

When asked if he is hopeful of retaining the 2014 PFA Scotland Player of the Year, Lennon replied: “I’d like to keep him a lot longer, but that’s between the two clubs and what Kris’ thoughts are, as well.

“The loan is up on January 10, so that only gives us to next midweek.

“Kris is a player I’ve known for a long time. I worked with him at Celtic for three-and-a-half seasons and we know his qualities.

“He hadn’t played a lot of football before he came here and there was a little bit of ring-rust, but you can see more and more his match sharpness coming back, and he can win games on his own.

“We haven’t discussed his future yet. I’ll sit down with Kris after the weekend and see how he feels about it and try and take things forward from there.”

Meanwhile, Lennon is relishing the prospect of facing United after losing 1-0 in the corresponding fixture between the teams at Tannadice on December 2.

He added: “I think the anticipation has been building all week and certainly from our point of view, the players are very much looking forward to the game.

“I wasn’t pleased with our first-half performance against them, although I felt we were the better team after the interval. We missed a penalty at a crucial stage, they scored a penalty and that was the difference between both the sides.

“We’re galvanised, we’re looking forward to the game, we know if we win we can go four points clear, which, psychologically, would give us a huge lift.

“We’re at home, there should be a huge crowd under the lights and there’s very much a lot to play for and look forward to.”

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