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Hibees' Ryan treads a fine line

Celts boss likes cut of old boy Porteous

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Hibernian's Ryan Porteous

Hibernian's Ryan Porteous

REUTERS

Hibernian's Ryan Porteous

Neil Lennon threw Ryan Porteous into first-team action because he was worried about holding the Hibernian youngster back.

But the Celtic boss has warned his former Easter Road apprentice that it may be time to tone down his aggressive streak for the good of his career.

Lennon was Hibs boss back in 2017, and admitted he had no choice but to hand Porteous his first-team debut in a Betfred Cup clash at Montrose given his burgeoning talent.

He also trusted the Dalkeith defender to make his first top-flight start at Ibrox later that season, and was rewarded as Porteous shone in a shock 2-1 win over Graeme Murty's Rangers.

But the player has since gone on to enjoy a tempestuous relationship with the Light Blues.

He was sent-off for an unsavoury tackle on Borna Barisic last term and was at the centre of controversy again during Sunday's 2-2 draw with Gers, treading a fine line with his behaviour.

Having been booked for an off-the-ball barge on Alfredo Morelos, he then got involved in a spat at the final whistle with the Colombian, James Tavernier and boss Steven Gerrard, as they snubbed his offer of a handshake.

The Hoops manager - who will be reunited with his former student when Hibs travel to Celtic Park today - said: "I think he quite likes it. I think he's that type of character.

"When he was coming through the ranks at Hibs, you could tell he had leadership qualities.

"He's aggressive and he, maybe, needs to temper the aggression a little bit. But he's a very good centre-half for his age."

Jack Ross has got Hibs back on track, and Lennon has warned his team they will be coming up against a side as dangerous as they come in Scotland.

"It is a tough game," he said. "Hibs will be buoyed by a good performance and a very good result last weekend."