Ryan McGIVERN today laughed off Rudi Skacel’s Easter Road antics after Hibs’ third successive win saw them go two points clear at the top of the SPL table.
And to add to the Easter Road outfit’s joy, striker Leigh Griffiths was called up for Scotland’s friendly against Luxembourg on Wednesday after scoring for the fifth match in a row to take his goals tally for the season to 12 as he set the Capital outfit on their way to a 2-1 victory over Dundee United.
Eoin Doyle added a second before a defensive blunder led to United substitute Gary Mackay-Steven putting the game back in the balance and forcing Hibs to endure a nervous ending to the game in which former Hearts star Skacel saw a goal wrongly chalked off for offside before cracking a volley against the bar with goalkeeper Ben Williams beaten.
Skacel, wearing No. 51 on his shirt to mark his contribution to Hearts crushing Scottish Cup win over their Capital
rivals, clashed with Jorge Claros and Ivan Sproule and on the final whistle was seen provocatively gesturing to
his back in front of the home fans before heading up the tunnel.
Today, though, Northern Ireland internationalist
McGivern made light of the Czech midfielder’s attempts to wind up everyone in green and white, reminding him that
he’d ended up on the losing side.
The on-loan Manchester United defender said: “To be honest, he can do what he wants. He was on the losing side. If he has to do that to get a reaction out fo the fans, then let him. We sent them home happy with the three points.”
McGivern admitted, though, he was delighted to see Skacel’s shot come off the bar and
accepted the 33-year-old’s goal may have been wrongly disallowed before adding: “Some of the boys said it might have been onside but that’s the way it goes. This time it went for us thankfully.”
The goals from Griffiths and Doyle sent Hibs back to the top of the table for the third time this season, and while their previous two visits to the summit were brief, this one will last at least another six days following Celtic’s draw at home to St Johnstone, a result which sees Fenlon’s side clear by two points. And later in the day Griffiths had more to celebrate at a raft of withdrawals resulted in Billy Stark calling him up for the full squad for the first time, the interim boss saying: “Leigh’s been excellent for Hibs and scored again. I know him from the Under-21s and he’s a talented player.”
Fenlon, who is as desperate to see 22-year-old Griffiths extend his loan deal from Wolves as the player himself, declared his side’s display against United, one which maintained their
unbeaten home record, “the complete performance.”
He said: “In the first half we were fantastic, in the second we had to defend. Football is
about doing both and we did that.”