Ian Murray backs damning Rod Petrie statement

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HIBERNIAN captain Ian Murray concedes it is hard not to agree with chairman Rod Petrie’s damning assessment of the underachieving team.

In a rallying call to supporters in an open message on the club’s official website on Wednesday, Petrie branded 2011 as “catastrophic” following a difficult 2010. The alarming loss of form that has affected the club since they staggered to a fourth place finish two years ago has cost managers John Hughes and Colin Calderwood their jobs.

The Easter Road club are still in the thick of a relegation battle this term with just six points separating Pat Fenlon’s side from basement strugglers Dunfermline and the supporters are turning their back over the frustration of successive bottom-six finishes.

Following a series of false dawns, however, Murray finally hopes Hibs, who have next weekend’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen to look forward to, have hit their nadir in the league. The life-long Hibs supporter, who is on the comeback trail following hip surgery in January, said: “The chairman has come out with the message trying to get some positivity back.

“From a football point of view, you have to agree with what the chairman said. To be second bottom of the league or in the lower half of the league for the whole calendar year isn’t good enough really.

“We’ve seen bits of progress at times but it was like a lot of clubs – stop-start. It comes from within the players more than anything else; we understand that to get the fans back we have to offer something to entice them.

“And what we have been offering for the past two years probably hasn’t been good enough to be perfectly honest.”

Murray concedes Sunday’s visit of Motherwell is likely to come too soon for him following an hour in a bounce game at St Mirren on Wednesday, but the defender knows this weekend could prove crucial in their battle against the drop.

He added: “Hopefully Hearts can do us a favour against Dunfermline and we can get the three points on Sunday.

“It’s going to be very difficult and we know if the Pars beat Hearts then the pressure is back on us on the Sunday.”

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