Worried Pat Fenlon demands a derby response from Hibs after dire start
HIBERNIAN manager Pat Fenlon watched his team slide to the bottom of the Scottish Premier League table in their opening 90 minutes of the campaign yesterday and admitted they most now deliver immediate payback to their suffering supporters in next Sunday’s Edinburgh derby.
Serving the first of a two-match touchline ban imposed for his red card in last season’s Scottish Cup final, Fenlon looked on in dismay from a Tannadice executive box as Hibs were dismantled 3-0 by a fluent Dundee United side.
It cranks up the pressure on Fenlon and his players to try and avenge their 5-1 Hampden defeat by Hearts in May when the city rivals meet for the first time in the new campaign at Easter Road.
“We need a response from the players next Sunday,” said Fenlon. “It’s all with us now, there’s not anything anyone else can do. In fairness, the supporters came and backed us again today. They have also put their money where their mouths are with buying season tickets. So we need to give them something to shout about.
“We got what we deserved today. We didn’t deserve anything from the game. It was a poor performance. It’s always worrying when you lose matches, whether it’s at the start, middle or end of a season.
“You always come into the season looking for a reaction from the players. We worked for the last few days on how we want to play and how United play. But we didn’t perform.
“We conceded a shocking goal to start with and it was all uphill from then. Dundee United are a decent side, they played very well today and I don’t want to take anything away from them. They were excellent and we were really poor.”
Fenlon was at a loss to explain the impotent nature of his team’s display and reiterated his desire to strengthen his squad further before the transfer window closes. He signed midfielder Gary Deegan from Coventry City at the weekend, but the Irish player was not registered in time to play at Tannadice.
“Our pre-season was OK, so I don’t know what you put it down to,” said Fenlon. “We will have to have a good look at it again and pick the bones out of it to see where we went wrong.
“It’s not just at the back – we are short up the other end of the pitch as well. It doesn’t need a rocket scientist to tell you that. We need a centre forward. We need to give Leigh Griffiths a little bit of support as well. You are looking at the whole team defensively, not just the back four.
“As a unit, United defended well. We have to be tighter and stronger as a unit defensively. We definitely need players to come in and strengthen the squad. If you look at what we had on the bench today, we have two young boys to come on and try and help us get into the game. The rest are more defensively orientated.
“We have been actively looking for new players for a while. But teams and players want a bit more money than we are willing to give. That’s always a problem.
“We’ve got to be realistic – we know where we are. You can’t release 16 players, bring five or six in and expect to be better. We have to bring in better quality players than the ones we released.
“The ones who have come in are decent players. Some of them did quite well today, but we need to add to that to give the boys a bit more support. Gary will come in for next week’s game against Hearts. He is the type of player we have been looking for and we’ve been chasing him for a while. We are delighted to get him in.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 19 C
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Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
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