Pat Fenlon’s fury over the reaction to Leage Cup shock exit
PAT Fenlon has angrily criticised the reaction to Hibernian’s shock 2-0 defeat to Queen of the South, insisting certain parties are keen to “jump on” any slip-ups from the Edinburgh club.
The Easter Road side exited the Scottish Communities League Cup in Dumfries on Tuesday evening, turning in a disappointing display at the Second Division outfit.
The performance drew widespread criticism, while Fenlon himself said he was “disgusted” by the timid reverse at Palmerston Park after the match.
However, the Hibs manager believes the subsequent fall-out from the defeat has been excessive, and indicative of a negativity which shrouds the football club after a poor result.
“I’m amazed by the extent that, if we have a bad result, it becomes the end of the world,” said Fenlon, while declining to clarify those who have irked him. “Poor results happen at other clubs, yet not as much is ever made of that.
“I went to see Celtic play Hearts last year, and Hearts were beaten 5-0 yet nothing was said about that match.
“I don’t know why this is the case. I have not been here long enough to figure it out. It can be annoying, because, for certain sections, there seems to be enjoyment in seeing this football club slip up.
“When we have a bad result everybody wants to jump on it. We need to make sure we don’t give people that excuse any longer.
“It’s disappointing if I’m honest because everybody knows that we are trying to turn this club around. The players we have brought in have worked really hard.
“We didn’t play well the other night, I’ll hold my hand up and say so. I said it after the match, but we’ll take it on the chin and move on.” Fenlon is hopeful that the criticism in recent days will help to foster a burgeoning siege mentality at the capital club.
The former Bohemians manager admits he has packed his squad with strong characters – the likes of James McPake, Ben Williams and Shefki Kuqi – in order to handle the pressure of the perceived pillorying which can follow a defeat.
“I think we have a bit of that siege mentality at the moment,” Fenlon continued. “It is difficult, in this day and age, to shield people from anything. We need strong characters in the dressing room to deal with criticism and that was part of what we were looking for during the summer.
“We needed characters who can use the negativity which surrounds this club following a bad result to spur them on, or can at least put it to the back of their minds and get on with the job.”
From failing to handle the burden of being overwhelming favourites on Tuesday, Hibs will have the relative relief of heading to Celtic Park tomorrow knowing anything other than a defeat against the SPL champions will be considered a laudable triumph.
Fenlon added: “It will be a massive test for us, a huge game in an intimidating arena, but these are the games you want to play in, and we will try to put on a show for our supporters.”
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Friday 24 May 2013
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