IF you make the mistake of listening to those who ought to be ignored then Neil Lennon could cause nationwide outrage by sneezing.

As the man himself said, after that day at Ibrox not so long ago, picking his nose would provoke some to consider rioting. Indeed, how civilisation managed to carry on after a man cupped his ears is one for future scholars.

Lennon will be around Scottish football for a while yet, he yesterday signed a contract with Hibernian which keeps him at the club until 2020, to entertain, antagonise, anger and, hopefully as far as he is concerned, win a few football matches.

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The Premiership badly missed Hearts, Rangers and also Hibs. The league is a much better place with these three big clubs back and with record season ticket sales at Easter Road, a Betfred Cup home quarter-final against Hibernian coming up, plus a decent start to the season, the news Lennon would be hanging about was welcome down Leith way.

“I’m delighted to get the contract sorted, it gives me incentives and targets to work on now and hopefully a bit of stability for the club,” said Lennon.

“I hope the fans are as pleased as I am, I’m not too sure the players are. I’ve got a target that I want to make Hibs a big club, a big force in Scottish football. I’m enjoying the challenge that lies ahead, the infrastructure is great, the players have been brilliant in everything we’ve asked them.

“I want to be up there, or try to be up there with Aberdeen and Rangers. I think most of the clubs are still way behind Celtic but if we can get into that second bracket then I think that would be suitable for a club of this size.

“It might take a bit of time but hopefully over the three years we can achieve that and be consistent at doing that as well. “

Hibs are a good team. John McGinn, their best player, remained despite Nottingham Forest’s best (worst) efforts, which gives then a chance of a top four finish.

But that is going to a challenge, particularly given how well Aberdeen have started and so, too, St Johnstone who Lennon will take his team to tomorrow afternoon.

Tommy Wright, the St Johnstone manager, is one of four current Premiership managers from Northern Ireland which is some thought.

Motherwell’s Stephen Robinson, Lennon and a certain Brendan Rodgers make up that quartet.

Wright and Lennon were international team-mates and while they have had their moments down the years, remain firm friends.

Lennon said: “We go back over 20 years to playing together for the Northern Irish team. We kept in touch through all those years and we see each other every year in Portugal on our wee holiday.

“I’d never seen him as a manager back in our playing days but he’s a very smart guy with a big personality.

“He showed real resilience throughout his career, because he had some really bad injuries to contend with. But he was a really talented goalkeeper.

“He used to wear a leotard. Aye, a leotard under his training kit. Oh, he’s never told you about the leotard, has he? Surprise!”

Lennon is not short of admiration for what Wright has achieved at third place St Johnstone, and admits he is baffled why the 54-year-old has not earned a bigger move.

He said: “I’m surprised that someone hasn’t tried to pinch him but he seems happy there and has brought great success.

“Winning the Scottish Cup was fantastic and a top four finish in this day and age for St Johnstone is spectacular, really.”