HIBERNIAN head coach Neil Lennon has accused Efe Ambrose’s critics of “deleting four years of history” as he launched a passionate defence of the much-maligned stopper.
The 28-year-old, who not played a competitive match since Celtic were beaten 1-0 by Lincoln Red Imps last July, has joined Hibs on an ‘emergency loan’ deal and could make a quick-fire debut against St Mirren this evening.
While his progress stalled in recent campaigns under Ronny Deila and Brendan Rodgers, Ambrose was a regular under Lennon, starring in a run to the Champions League last-16 in 2012/13 and impressing in wins over the likes of Barcelona, Ajax and Spartak Moscow.
Regardless of his high-profile errors in recent campaigns, Lenny reckons believes many snipers have short memories.
He said: “He has quality. He has been at Celtic for four or five seasons now and, while it maybe hasn’t gone as well as he would have liked in the last couple of seasons, under me he was fantastic.
“I think the first four years of his time at Celtic have been deleted from history, with the way people talk about him now. This is a guy who played in all my Champions League games and made the last 16.
“People always talk about the mistakes he has made of late, the high profile mistakes, but we have all made them. I have made plenty! I played with Bobo [Balde] who had a few in his time – but I don’t think he gets derided as much as people tend to mock Efe.
“What I want to do is get him back playing and being successful for us and then go back to Celtic full of confidence.
“Efe was a guy who was at the heart of a lot of unbelievable results at Celtic. He has won the African Nations Cup with his country so he has great pedigree. He is only 28, he is at his peak and he will be fresh because he has not played much football recently.
“We are very lucky to get him. I also think it is a coup for us that he wanted to come.”