Peter Lawwell would be heading for disaster by hiring Hibernian manager Jack Ross to replace Neil Lennon as pressure builds on the Irishman at Celtic.
According to The Scottish Sun, Lennon stood on the brink of being fired following last weekend’s humbling League Cup defeat to Ross County, which saw the Hoops’ 35-game domestic cup-winning run come to a disappointing end.
Fans revolted against Lennon in the aftermath of the loss, with hundreds of supporters tearing down fencing after descending on Parkhead, from where the under-fire coach could hear the shouts for him to go.
Lennon stood firm in front of the media, claiming “I think I should get more time”, but it is thought that Ross could be one of several options for Lawwell and majority owner Dermot Desmond to consider should the axe fall.
Ross took charge of Hibernian in 2019 following an ill-fated spell with Sunderland, where he was relieved of command for failing to meet the owner’s expectations after being handed the English third-tier’s largest wage budget.
The 44-year-old has somewhat got his career back on track since returning to Scotland, with Hibernian sat third in the Premiership after 16 games, while claiming 25 points over his 18 games in charge during the prematurely concluded 2019/20 campaign.
Only Celtic (49) and Rangers (36) secured a substantial return of points greater than Hibernian’s record following Ross’ appointment last season, with Livingston and St. Johnstone claiming 26 points each.
With pressure from supporters mounting on Lennon to leave Celtic, the Hoops hierarchy may be forced into a change of plans having not been expected to fire the Irishman before January’s Glasgow Derby clash with Rangers at the earliest.
But appointing Ross would only serve to see Lawwell set a course for disaster at Parkhead and finish the Lennoxtown outfit’s hope of a record tenth Premiership title in a row, as the Hibernian boss will not be the one to overturn the mammoth margin separating Celtic from their bitter rivals Celtic.
The Hoops are making heavy work of their title defence and could end Sunday 14-points behind Steven Gerrard’s Gers, albeit with two games in hand, and are showing no signs of mounting a turnaround, with just two wins in 11 matches across all competitions.
When Sunderland’s fortunes faltered last year and the Black Cats sat sixth in League One having contended for promotion the season before, the axe swung on Ross as owner Stewart Donald had freed the funds he felt would have gotten the Stadium of Light natives over the line.
Sunderland had only lost twice all season when Ross was fired, and it should spark fear in Lawwell that Donald believed the coach could not turn things around, while his Hibernian tenure has not been without fault either.
Defeats to Ross County, Livingston, Hearts and Aberdeen sit like a stain on Ross’ record, that boasts just 15 wins in 34 Premiership fixtures while conceding 42 goals and scoring just 50.