Deivydas Matulevicius: Neil Lennon is the best coach in Scotland

27 July 2017

New Hibernian striker Deivydas Matulevicius claims he is now working for the best coach in Scotland after signing up for Neil Lennon's Easter Road revolution.

The Lithuanian international knows all about the former Celtic boss after watching him mastermind the Hoops' famous 2012 win over Barcelona.

And the 28-year-old was so keen to link up with the Northern Irishman he knocked back more lucrative offers elsewhere to seal his Leith move.

Matulevicius said: "I had a lot of offers but for me it was a dream to come and play in Britain. When Hibs proposed a contract I was like, 'Ah, let's go there'.

"I decided in one minute to come here. I had better offers from other clubs but money is not everything.

"You must go where you're happy and I came here to be happy and to work with the best coach in Scotland.

"Everybody knows who the coach is. He's a big name in Scotland. When I speak to people back home and tell them who my coach is now, they say, 'Oh, that's good for you - every day he can make you better'.

"I remember when he beat Barcelona with Celtic. He's a winner. He wants to win every game - even in training. He's the best coach in the country, in my opinion."

Matulevicius, who could make his debut in Saturday's Betfred Cup clash at Alloa after finally receiving clearance to complete his move from Belgian outfit Royal Mouscron, will provide Lennon's side with a physical edge.

But Matulevicius believes the Hibs faithful should be more excited by the capture of national team colleague Vykintas Slivka from Juventus.

"He's technical, he's strong," he said. "He was at Juve and they only take good players.

"I think he'll help us for sure. He's just 22 but has already played 20 games for the national team. He's a very good player."

The Lithuanian influx is growing in Leith but it still has some way to go to match the numbers who flocked from the Baltic state to the other side of Edinburgh during Vladimir Romanov's incident-filled reign as Hearts owner.

At one stage there were nine Lithuanians on the books at Tynecastle, and Matulevicius admits joining the Jambos' bitter rivals might upset some of his compatriots.

"I spoke to one of my friends who used to play with Hearts, Marius Zaliukas," he said. "He was joking that we are not friends any more.

"But after that he said he was very happy for me because Hibs is a big club.

"I spoke to a few other guys who played for Hearts, too, and everyone said if you can go, do it."

Source: PA