IT was feared Leith’s football club would this summer buck the trend at a time when more people than ever are making the old burgh their home.

As folk pour into the gentrified ‘Walk’ and surrounding area in numbers never before seen, there would be many, too many, going the other way out of Easter Road. At least that was the thought.

Neil Lennon put together a superb Hibernian squad for last season but the belief among some supporters was that it would be taken apart as players who had been on loan returned to their parent clubs and a few would be sold.

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John McGinn will surely be the subject of a bid. Martin Boyle is another whose form must have caught the eye. Dylan McGeoch can leave on a free, Scott Allan remains a Celtic player, the outstanding striker Florian Kamberi would not be kept on along with Jamie Maclaren and Brandon Barker.

That’s a lot for any club to cope with, even one as well run at Hibs.

Lennon worked marvels last season. His decision to send out Simon Murray on loan and getting rid of the troubled and troublesome Antony Stokes in January, replacing them with Kamberi and McLaren was one of his best – and he made a few. good ones

It’s this ability to spot a player, and Lennon’s eye for talent goes back to his Celtic days, is a reason why one former Hibee is relaxed about what comings and goings will take place. He also believes the manager won’t be losing much sleep over this supposed exodus.

“If players do well it attracts bigger clubs but it won’t faze Neil,” said Darren Jackson who played five seasons in green and white. “Would he be disappointed if they left? Yes, of course.

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“However, he’s been through it before and will go through it many times again. You just have to make sure that your recruitment is right.”

And, so far, the recruitment at Easter Road has been pretty spot on over the past two years. Almost all the signings have made a positive impact, which is rare.

Allan should sign a permanent deal, Celtic won’t be difficult to deal with, but the one the club really want to keep is Kamberi who is still a player for Grasshopper in his native Switzerland.

“Kamberi has been fantastic, “ said Jackson. “When fans look at it they see goals but I like the way he plays, his hold up play and links up with John and Scott.

“He’s a good size and works extremely hard and he’d be a fantastic signing. The fans took to him right away and he was excellent.

“Far be it from me to slag anyone for being a bit mad on the touchline! But as well as that Lenny’s a good manager as well.

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“He is always thinking ahead and evolving. He is thinking: ‘If I do this and that I can bring him in and let him go.’

“There are no guarantees and it was never certain that it would work letting Simon go and bringing in two others, but it did work.

“The boy Maclaren doesn’t do a lot in games – but he scores good goals and makes great runs.

“Again, Hibs’ midfield is great because Dylan sits and lets John and Scott play. Kamberi links and then Maclaren runs across the line and gets chances. It was great the way it worked together.

“Scott has great ability and maybe made a couple of wrong moves here and there. The fans love him at Hibs and he seems to enjoy it. I don’t know if he will go back, but when he had Dylan and John he had a license to do his own stuff.

“It annoys me when I hear fans say certain players can’t defend. I look at it the other way and say well who can make the killer pass like Scott to open up a defence? The games I watched him in he was outstanding and back to enjoying it. He looked that way at Hibs.”

Jackson agreed with Lennon that second place is a real possibility.

“Lenny knows and believes and he wouldn’t come away with a stupid statement just to wind people up,” he said.”

If Hibs can remain strong they are in for another fine campaign.