Easter Road legend Reilly says current players not good enough for green and white shirt

THE present Hibernian squad are not good enough for the club, according to Lawrie Reilly.

The Hibs legend plans to attend today's Edinburgh derby, but he will do so with a degree of trepidation after watching some poor performances in recent weeks. He has already stopped going to away matches because of his disappointment at his team's performances.

"At the present moment, I'm not excited about watching this group of players we've got playing for us," Reilly said at this week's launch of the book Pat Stanton's Hibernian Dream Team. "Why? They're just, in my opinion, not good enough for us.

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"It has not been enjoyable to watch them week in, week out. I go to all of the home games and some of the away games.

"But after the trip to Hamilton a few weeks ago, I said: 'No, no, that's me finished travelling – I'm not going to follow them to away games again. There haven't been many good performances - more bad than good, in my opinion."

As a member of the Famous Five, Reilly knows he may be judging today's team by an exactingly high standard. "I was quite fortunate to play in a Hibs team that used to win every week, because we had the players to win every week," he accepted.

"I was spoiled, I suppose, playing in the best team in the club's history. Of the players I've seen since then, Pat Stanton would have got into our team. It's very difficult to name any others.

"We had a good goalkeeper in Tommy Younger and, if you are good at the back, it gives the front lot a lot of encouragement, knowing you had solid players behind you. I was lucky to play at that time.

"I never really enjoy the games these days, because I'm always worried that Hibs are going to lose. And I don't like to see my team lose.

"Losing the derby is more painful, obviously. I can honestly say that, when I played, I really enjoyed beating the Hearts – and I hated losing to them."

Having said that, Reilly stressed that hating losing to Hearts did not mean he hated the club, its players or supporters. Indeed, one of his best friends during his playing days was the Tynecastle striker Willie Bauld.

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"People think you hate the Hearts, but I played with Willie Bauld for Scotland, and we palled about quite a bit. I went to his house, he came to mine, we did a lot together. Folk seemed to think that you had to be rivals with each other. We were rivals on the park but certainly not off the park.

"Willie's house was 20 yards from the shop where I worked as a painter. It was in Gorgie Road and Willie just stayed around the corner.

"We used to go play golf together, taking trips to Gleneagles or Baberton. People used to say: 'How can you be friends with a Hearts player?', but as far as we were concerned, you were mates again as soon as you walked off the park."

In common with Stanton, Reilly believes that the one current player who would come closest to getting into a Hibs dream team, at least in terms of his natural talent, is Derek Riordan. He believes, however, that Riordan has not adapted to his wide-left role with the requisite selflessness.

"That laddie only thinks about scoring goals. That's all he wants to do. I like to see a winger who makes a lot of goals.

"I was fortunate to play with men like Gordon Smith and Willie Ormond, players who contributed to my goalscoring record. I can't see our left-winger contributing to the centre forward's goals tally. Maybe that's because he wants to be a centre-forward himself, but whenever he gets the ball, his one thought is having a go at goal.

"You've got to remember that other players could be in a better position to score. That's what makes me think I was fortunate to play with the guys I did."