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HANLON’S CASE FOR THE HIBS DEFENCE

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HIBS defender Paul Hanlon has praised Neil Lennon for investing in the club’s defence ahead of their return to the Premiership after a three-year absence.

The defender has stated his relief and admiration that Lennon has began his preparations for next season with the signing of Efe Ambrose and a renewal of Darren McGregor’s deal.

Ambrose joined Hibs on an emergency loan in February after numerous injuries threatened to plague their push towards the Championship title; however, Hanlon feels there will be no repeat of that this season ahead.

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“We’re pretty strong going into the new season, but we are going to need everyone. It will be a long campaign and you only need to look at last season when me and Daz played every game in the first half of the season and then, all of a sudden, Daz was the only centre-half left and we needed to bring in recruitments,” he said.

“We were quite lucky the club were in a position to do that.”

Speaking of Ambrose, Hanlon expressed his delight at the versatile defender opting to reject offers in England to remain at Easter Road.

“To get signings like Efe through the door is great. He is an international player, he’s done it at the very highest level and that’s exactly what you want.

“We all want Hibs to do well and the more quality players we can get in the better.

“Efe has made a big decision to come here, he obviously enjoyed his time with us last season and I’m delighted he’s back.

“We’ve also been linked with a few quality players who would be exciting for the fans.”

Hanlon’s optimism for the coming season is clear.

“We’ve been in the Championship and there’s been a lot of change in the top flight. We just need to aim for top six and anything above that is a bonus,” he stated.

“It’s great to see the gaffer has that belief in us and if we were to get second place I think that would amaze everyone with us just coming back up. We just need to focus on top six and take it from there.”

Hibs kick off their season in the Betfred Cup at home to Montrose on 15 July.

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