Hibs star Paul Hanlon today insisted Pat Fenlon’s side can shrug off the bitter disappointment of missing out on an SPL top-six finish to reach the final of the William Hill Scottish Cup for the second season in succession.
However, Easter Road boss Fenlon admitted Hibs will be up against it when they face First Division Falkirk at Hampden on Saturday if they produce a repeat of their timid performance at Celtic Park, where the host club cruised to a 3-0 win.
Fenlon didn’t hold back in the aftermath of a third straight defeat, accusing his players of having lacked the hunger and desire in recent weeks as they slowly but surely slipped out of the upper reaches of the league table.
While Falkirk will go into the semi-final showdown on the back of four wins on the spin, Fenlon faces having to lift his side, the Irishman admitting the season had been “a bit of a failure” given Hibs had, at one time, been comfortably placed in second but are today ninth.
Of his side’s display in Glasgow, he said: “If we perform like we did, it doesn’t matter who we play, we won’t get anything out of the game. We didn’t have enough commitment around the pitch. I don’t think we turned up. I think we accepted we were
going to be in the bottom six and we didn’t give it a go.
“That’s not good enough. That’s what’s been wrong at this football club, there’s been an acceptance of losing matches and that can’t continue.
“This season has been a bit of a failure. We wanted to be in the top six. We started off
really well but we haven’t shown enough hunger and desire in the last five or six weeks to maintain that.
“I feel you’re judged on winning league games and we haven’t won enough over the last six or seven weeks. We’ve got to have more commitment, more desire to stop goals going in, stop crosses coming into the box, stop people being able to turn too easily in the box and we didn’t have that.”
But while he shared his
manager’s disappointment, Hanlon claimed he and his team-mates will step up to the mark on Saturday. The defender, who returned against Celtic after a five-match absence with a hip injury,
said: “It’s a massive game for the club, the supporters and
“We will need to be up for it and I am sure we will be, 100 per cent. We are under no illusions as to how hard it is going to be but if we perform to the best of our ability and certainly better than we did against Celtic then I am sure we will get through to the final.
“It’s Hampden, the semi-final of the Cup and if you can’t get yourself motivated for playing in a game like that then you should not be playing football.
“I’m certain we’ll all be there ready to go.”