Reflection allows Fenlon and McCall an air of satisfaction
SOMETIMES whole games, not just single incidents, look different in retrospect than they do in real time. Yesterday’s draw between Hibernian and Motherwell was a case in point.
When Hibs lost the equaliser with ten minutes to play, Pat Fenlon was a frustrated figure. But not long after the game had finished 1-1, he was able to look back with a degree of satisfaction, and a feeling that this was a point won rather than two dropped.
“I’m not too disappointed,” the Hibs manager said. “We played a good side today and I think they deserved a point.
“Away to Inverness [where Hibs won 3-2 last week] and at home to Motherwell are two tough games, and we’ve picked up four points, which is a fair return. We’d have been happy with that from the start, I suppose.”
Those four points have taken Hibs seven points clear of Dunfermline at the bottom of the SPL. Fenlon knows the battle to beat the drop is not won yet, but he has been heartened by the increased confidence shown by his players over the past couple of weeks.
“It’s a better cushion than we had two weeks ago,” he continued. “It’s still not in the bag. It’s just important we stay focused. We’re trying to make sure the players are comfortable. My job is to be uncomfortable and worry. We’ve some good players, and one or two came out of their shell today and played a lot better. It’s important that we try to keep that going and they have that freedom to play.”
The surefootedness of James McPake in central defence has played a big part in helping others be more confident, but the captain warned that he and his team-mates will not get carried away. “You can blow it if you’re complacent and you think it’s done,” he said. “I’m sure there’s bigger gaps been blown.
“That’s probably a point gained. If you’d said on Friday Dunfermline would lose and we’d get another point we’d probably have taken it.”
Stuart McCall was as frustrated at the end of the game as Fenlon became when Nicky Law equalised. Given the amount of possession his team had, the Motherwell manager had hoped to leave Easter Road with all three points.
However, McCall, like Fenlon, was happy to take a point which stretches his club’s lead in third place. “Mixed emotions,” he said. “With ten minutes to go we were still down, but I thought the goal was coming. I thought the second-half performance merited it.
“First half we had a lot of possession without a cutting edge. We said at half-time we weren’t looking for a point, we wanted three. We wanted to step it up a bit, and I thought we did that.”
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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