Dylan McGeouch: Neil Lennon fury shows winning mentality

Hibernian manager Neil Lennon shows his frustration during his side's Scottish Cup semi-final defeat by Aberdeen. Picture: SNS
Hibernian manager Neil Lennon shows his frustration during his side's Scottish Cup semi-final defeat by Aberdeen. Picture: SNS
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Dylan McGeouch believes Neil Lennon’s
rage following Saturday’s Scottish Cup semi-final defeat by Aberdeen was 
justified and underlines yet again he is a winner.

The Hibernian midfielder, who along with Marvin Bartley was excused from Lennon’s withering criticisms post-match, scored his side’s equaliser as they came back from 2-0 down.

But Jonny Hayes’ deflected winner with five minutes left meant Lennon felt within his rights to blast his Championship title-winning players for reverting to their old “boy band” ways.

While many felt the manager’s words were harsh, McGeouch can confirm it’s not an act. Lennon really does not like losing, particularly when it involves conceding a goal after just 12 seconds.

Adam Rooney’s strike shortly after kick-off made Hibs’ assignment against top-flight opposition all the harder. The Easter Road side’s grip on their cherished Scottish Cup was finally loosened when Hayes’ shot defected off Hibs defender Darren McGregor’s knee for the game’s winner.

“Everyone can see he’s got passion,” said McGeouch of Lennon. “He gives it his all. He gives it 100 per cent every
week. He’s a winner. He’s always been a winner when he has played football. And as a manager, he has won things. He wants that for this club. He wants us to go and win things.

“He’s disappointed in there that we are not in the final, even though we got ourselves back in it and played pretty well after the first ten minutes. He’s still disappointed that we never got to the final. It shows you the sort of manager that he is. He wants to win things.

“You know if you are not doing your job right, he’ll definitely let you know,” McGeouch added. “Some boys need that boot up the arse to get them going. You know if you’re not at it, you’ll get that with him, either at half-time or after the game. It keeps boys on their toes and keeps them performing. There are always other people there to step in! It keeps everyone going.”

Lennon was not the manager when Hibs lifted the Scottish Cup in such memorable style last year but seemed to take it as a personal affront that their reign as holders ended in the manner it did. Hibs did not start competing until they were 2-0 down and even their success in getting back to 2-2 did not appease Lennon.

He was quick to make a change during the match, replacing Fraser Fyvie with Grant Holt after little more than half an hour. Despite being complimented by Lennon for being one of the few to show responsibility, McGeouch reckons anyone might have been hooked at this stage.

“It could have been a couple of us, yes,” he said. “We didn’t start well in the first ten minutes. We knew the formation we wanted to play was not working. We found ourselves 2-0 down so it could have been any one of us. The manager made his decision. We stick by that and we move on.

“It is disappointing [for Fyvie],” he added. “If I put myself in his shoes it would be hard to take as well. But he will probably realise the manager has made a decision with the formation and tinkered with it a bit.

“We did not help the way we were playing. Obviously someone had to be sacrificed to come off but we are all 
in it together. He [Fyvie] has been a massive player for us this season. We just have to go again.”