Pat Fenlon hails Hibs’ ‘first-class attitude’
PAT FENLON is still waiting for his first Edinburgh derby win as Hibernian manager but he emerged from yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Hearts at Easter Road far more satisfied than his counterpart John McGlynn.
In the first meeting of the clubs since Hearts’ crushing 5-1 win in the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden three months ago, Hibs fought back from the loss of an opening goal by Andrew Driver to earn a fully-merited point courtesy of Leigh Griffiths’ strike on the stroke of half-time. The action was watched by less than 13,000 spectators, around 4000 down on the attendance Hibs would normally expect for the fixture. The empty seats were all in the home sections of the ground but Fenlon is hopeful the resilient nature of his team’s performance will start to tempt back more of the club’s supporters.
“Maybe those who stayed away today and watched it on TV may think there is a little bit of character and balls about this team,” said Fenlon. “We need them behind us. We are a long way from making it up to the supporters. We owe them a lot more than just getting a point today. The supporters are just waiting to get behind us, you could feel that today. They were immense again.
“There were a fair few empty seats and it’s up to us to try and make sure we get the punters back through the gates. I’m not going to ask the supporters to do any more for us. They have been fantastic since I’ve been here. It’s our job now to entice people back to the ground. Today is a step in the right direction, but it’s only one small step. We got a point, we are not getting overly excited about it. It’s like any other football club, if you are winning football matches then people will come and watch. I was pleased with the performance and everything else that goes with it. The attitude and desire to win the game, from the first whistle to the last, was first class. We showed real character today and a lot of ability as well.
“When you go a goal down when you have probably been slightly the better team, it can sometimes rock you back a little bit. I think the character the team showed after that was fantastic. Before that, I thought we were the better side as well so I’m very pleased.”
Hearts manager McGlynn, who lost his only previous derby fixture when in caretaker charge of the club back in 2005, admitted he was thankful to claim a draw from a match in which his side failed to build on their opening day SPL win over St Johnstone the previous week.
“We’ve got to be satisfied with a point because we didn’t play well,” said McGlynn. “We didn’t get anywhere near the heights we have been achieving and which we did last week, so we’ve got to be grateful we went away with a point. Although we got ourselves in front, we probably didn’t deserve it and at half-time a draw was fair.”
Fenlon praised the performance of Irish midfielder Gary Deegan on his debut and confirmed he is seeking further additions to his squad before the transfer window closes. Veteran Finnish international striker Shefki Kuqi, currently without a club, watched yesterday’s match from the main stand and is believed to be a target for Hibs.
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Monday 20 May 2013
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