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Omeonga taking positive view of managerial merry-go-round

Stephane Omeonga has now had five managers this season so he claims it was easy to brush off the departure of Neil Lennon days after signing for Hibernian.

The on-loan Genoa midfielder comes face to face with the man who signed him on Saturday when Lennon makes an unexpectedly swift return to Easter Road after taking charge of Celtic on Tuesday.

Lennon led Celtic to victory at Hearts on Wednesday before even taking a training session, and makes another trip to Edinburgh on Saturday in the William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-finals.

Omeonga did not get much of a chance to work with Lennon before his sudden departure in January.

“Two days and 45 minutes,” the Belgian said. “But I’m thankful to him because he brought me here. So I will always be grateful. But that’s football.

“The first thing that came into my head was ‘Am I going to play again?’ But the club and all the staff gave me confidence that the project is still the same and they still believe in me.”

Omeonga has come off the bench in each of Paul Heckingbottom’s three games in charge, all victories.

“The new manager has been very kind,” the 22-year-old said. “The first day he came I knew I was not in the squad for the weekend and he talked to me about it and told me I was doing well in training and he believed in me.

“I’m quite used to changing coach. I have had five since the beginning of the season. So I’m used to it and I don’t think it was that bad.

“If you look at it the other way, it’s good, because you don’t have time to settle down and think ‘I have earned it’. You always have to prove yourself.

“I think every footballer always has to show in every game and every day, and when a new manager comes in, you have that energy to show more again. I always try to look at things in a positive way.”

On facing Lennon, he said: “I don’t think about it. I just think we are facing Celtic, who are a good team.”

The Belgium Under-21 international comes face to face with another familiar figure in countryman Dedryck Boyata but he has not discussed football with the Celtic centre-back yet.

“We spoke after the games and he told me the address of a hairdresser, but I didn’t talk to him about coming here,” Omeonga said.

“I talked to other players like Dolly Menga, who is at Livingston, and Faycal Rherras, who was here but didn’t play a lot of games.”