NEIL LENNON is well-placed to judge how good a fit Jack Ross may be as Hibernian manager, having managed the club and knowing the majority of the players so well as he does. And despite the differences he may have had with the Easter Road hierarchy in the past, the Celtic manager thinks they have got their latest decision spot on.

Lennon has tipped Jack Ross to be a huge success with his former club, believing that the Hibs players will suit his expansive style, while the fans will appreciate it as in-keeping with the identity of the club.

He is hoping of course that Ross and his former employers leave Celtic Park empty-handed today, but he is certain that in time, Ross will bring success back to Easter Road.

“It’s a great appointment,” Lennon said. “He did miraculous things at St Mirren and I thought he was harshly dealt with at Sunderland because I don’t think he did a lot wrong.

“He will do well at Hibs. He’s a progressive manager who likes good football. You can see them being a little bit more expansive already.”

After the calm in Cluj comes the storm for Celtic, with a potentially pivotal week ahead for their hopes of marching on to a ninth consecutive league title. The visit of Hibs is the first of three huge games in six days for the champions, with Hearts and Aberdeen to come hot on their heels.

“They’re all tricky,” Lennon said. “You just have to take them all in isolation, but we are at home [first] and our home form has been brilliant. The players are very determined at the minute. I look forward to seeing them all back together and cracking on with things.

“That’s the incentive. We want to win them all and try and win them well. But it’s no easy task. We’ll try to take them one at a time.

“Hibs are up first and they had a great win at the weekend so they’ll come in buoyant but we’re buoyant as well.

“I hope we can maintain that because we are getting pushed. We must maintain our energy and our focus.

“Leaving the boys behind [for the Cluj game], I think some of them will have trained on Thursday and been off on Friday and that will stand them in good stead. It’s a big week. Hibs, Hearts away, Aberdeen at home, they are three really important games and I didn’t want to run the risk of taking any chances in Cluj.

“We had to play the fixture and we used the squad and I think that was the right thing to do but now we are back to five big games we want to win and maintain our consistency at domestic level, which has been obviously very good. Their attitude is brilliant.”

The team that took to the pitch in Romania were Celtic in name and strip only when compared to the first-choice 11 that will take to the field today against Hibs, but that’s not to say that the rather forgettable 2-0 defeat was an entirely worthless exercise.

For one thing, it allowed Lennon to give some of his youngsters a taste of European football away from home in a fairly hostile environment, with 18-year-old midfielder Scott Robertson particularly impressing in midfield on his debut, using the ball well and showing notable composure for his age.

Karamoko Dembele, at just 16 years and a little shy of nine months, became the youngest ever Celtic player to take to the field in European competition as a late substitute too.

“I think that’s important,” said Lennon. “Robbo has sort of come in from nowhere and really blossomed in the last three or four months and his performance tonight didn’t surprise me.

“And Karamoko we know is a real talent and we want to keep him motivated and keep him around the first team squad if and when we can.”

Added to the bonus of giving academy prospects a chance to shine was the opportunity for Lennon to give some of the fringe men in his squad some much needed game time too. Captain for the night Olivier Ntcham may bristle at being described as such, but he seized his opportunity to stake a claim for a more regular place in the Celtic midfield as he blossomed under the responsibility of wearing the captain’s armband.

Some of the others were noticeably, if understandably, rusty, but Leigh Griffiths will also be pleased to be edging closer to full sharpness with a more than decent display.

“I singled out Ntcham in Cluj I thought he was just wonderful,” Lennon said. “I liked (Nir) Bitton a lot, Mikey (Johnston) showed real flashes. For the likes of Griff and Sinky (Scott Sinclair) to get 90 minutes into the legs was fantastic for them.”