Lennon heaps praise on Gerrard ahead of crunch fixture
Photo by Callum Landells/Getty Images

Neil Lennon: Gerrard was "one of my heroes as a player"

In yesterday’s press conference, Steven Gerrard told the media that he was looking forward to going “toe-to-toe’ with Hibernian manager Neil Lennon.

Lennon, never one to shy away from giving an opinion, has since had his say on his opposite number. As quoted in the Daily Record, he was full of praise for the ex-Liverpool man.

“First and foremost, Gerrard was one of my heroes as a player”, said the Hibs manager.

Lennon won the Scottish Championship as Hibs boss in 2017. (Photo by David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

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“I’ve never seen someone carry a club like Liverpool the way he did.”

Having won nine major trophies in 17 years as a Red, spending many of those seasons as captain, there is little doubt that Gerrard was a great on the pitch.

Praise not just reserved for Gerrard the player

However, perhaps surprisingly, Lennon didn’t stop there. He went on to praise the 38-year-old’s transition from player to manager.

Gerrard made over 500 league appearances for Liverpool. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

“I was surprised that he took the Rangers job. Now he’s in there, it looks like he has been there for a long time”, he continued.

“As a manager now, he’s getting the best out of that group of players, which augurs well for the future.”

Lavish praise all round from the former Celtic boss, who is clearly impressed with how Gerrard has conducted himself so far.

The former Northern Ireland international is impressed by how Gerrard has handled the media. (Photo by Josef Bollwein/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

Yet there are unlikely to be many niceties after the whistle blows tonight.

Lennon loves getting one over on Rangers. A fact he demonstrated clearly with outlandish celebrations when his team snatched a late point in this fixture back in May.

Clearly there is mutual respect between these men, but they will both be itching to draw first blood in their head-to-head record tonight.

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