Darren McGregor urges Hibs to ‘focus on the football’

Darren McGregor revealed that Sunday's second-half fightback came after a half-time dressing down by interim head coach Eddie May. Picture: SNS.
Darren McGregor revealed that Sunday's second-half fightback came after a half-time dressing down by interim head coach Eddie May. Picture: SNS.
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Darren McGregor admits the Hibs players are in the dark over the future of manager Neil Lennon but insists they have to block out the “white noise” of the controversy and simply concentrate on playing football

The experienced defender was instrumental in the Easter Road side winning for the first time in six league games on Sunday, netting their second goal in the 3-1 triumph over St Mirren and producing an acrobatic goalline clearance with the game finely poised at 2-1.

The 33-year-old confessed a victory was essential because of recent results, the capital outfit having won only two of their previous 14 outings in the Premiership.

However, with rumours continuing to circulate about the reasons behind Hibs’ decision to suspend Lennon on Friday, and talk of lawyers being involved on both sides, McGregor believes he and his team-mates can only get their heads down and focus on 
football.

He said: “Not even the past week, but in the past couple of months, there’s been poor performances, and we know we owe it to ourselves and the fans to pick up three points in games.

“The performance, granted, wasn’t great, but the main thing, to change the tide, was to get the win and we did that.

“We’re just not sure what’s happening with the gaffer at present so we’ll wait and see what transpires.

“Everything else is just white noise. We can only control our performances. When we cross that white line it’s up to 
ourselves.

“The powers that be will make the decisions that have to be made, but we get paid to play football and that’s what we’re concentrating on.”

Eddie May, head of academy coaching, pictured, and coach Grant Murray stepped in to take charge of the team against St Mirren and helped mastermind a badly-needed win. They sparked a comeback with the introduction of first goalscorer Oli Shaw and a change of formation early in the second half, but May has made it clear he does not want the post in the long-term.

With suggestions that a heated team meeting on Friday sparked Lennon’s suspension, McGregor has revealed Hibs’ recovery came after another dressing down, this time from May at half-time in Paisley.

He added: “We came out and, like a lot of performances this season, it was under par, from the whole team. But we got a stern talking-to from Eddie May and Grant, who have come in and taken the team.

“They’ve been brilliant with us and the reaction was just testament to the players’ 
character.

“He [May] told us that he doesn’t want to be in charge for longer than he has to be. But it’s great that we can call upon people like Eddie to come in and fill the void at the minute.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Stevie Mallan insists the Hibs players can shrug off the absence of Lennon by concentrating fully on the day-to-day business of playing football. He added to BBC Scotland: “I wouldn’t say [it’s affecting the players]. We go about our business the same way we would if the gaffer was here.

“Obviously, the gaffer’s out the picture just now but every other part of the staff is still there.

“At first, as players you don’t know what’s going on, but you just have to stick to what you have to do and start training again.

“We’re here to train and make ourselves better and make the club better, and what happens outwith is up to the board.

“Nothing changes for us, we just go about our business the same way.”