Players must react better after falling behind, warns Fenlon

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IF THERE is one consolation for Pat Fenlon as he goes about the thankless task of trying to revive Hibernian, it lies in the fact that the team’s deficiencies are blindingly obvious.

If the Easter Road manager was unable to put his finger on why his side were conceding so many goals and losing so many matches, he would be even more worried than he is. Instead, he knows precisely what is going wrong, and simply has to find a way of rectifying it.

Hibs were always going to find it tough against a Celtic side in imperious form, but after yesterday’s 5-0 defeat Fenlon rightly pointed out that they could have made matters a little more difficult for their opponents.

“I thought we started quite well,” the Easter Road manager said after a defeat that leaves his club equal on points with Dunfermline at the bottom of the SPL.

“They started sluggishly, but we gave away a silly goal from a set-piece and that changed the whole outcome of the game. They got a lift and it knocked the stuffing out of our lads a little, but you’ve got to react better than we did.

“We gave them a chance after half a minute, then in the second half we gave them a free-kick straight after we had the kick-off.”

Hibs’ next game is at Motherwell on Wednesday, the same night as Dunfermline meet Celtic. Fenlon argued his players could not simply put yesterday’s defeat out of their minds, but said he would tell them they had no time to indulge in self-pity. “I don’t think you can forget about it,” he said. “We will look at some of the stuff and see how we can improve.

“We have too much ahead to worry about what has gone on and we have to get the players up for a massive game on Wednesday. The players have to realise where we are and you just have to look at the table. What is at stake for everyone is too important to get down about it.

“We are going to a difficult ground and Motherwell are playing really well. I saw them beat Hearts at the weekend and they were excellent.We cannot mope around.”