Hibernian defender Darren McGregor has pulled no punches following Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Livingston, insisting those who played – including himself – at the Tony Macaroni let the badge down.
The experienced centre-half also said that the Easter Road side quickly need to change the perception that the team is soft-centred, and fully expects head coach Jack Ross to dabble in the January transfer market to rectify the inconsistency that has hitherto plagued their season.
Just three days after claiming a memorable 2-0 victory at the home of city rivals Hearts, Hibs arrived in West Lothian keen to register successive Premiership victories for only the second time this term.
However, Hibs delivered a largely toothless performance and had no response to incessant second-half pressure, which yielded two goals from Jon Guthrie, from the hosts.
McGregor certainly did not mince his words following the latest set-back, with Hibs dropping back down to sixth place, having been leap-frogged by the Lions
“It is so bitterly disappointing after beating Hearts,” said the 34-year-old.
“That was a convincing performance, where everyone gave 100 per cent and we got the plaudits we deserved.
“To then go to the type of performance we put in at Livingston, especially towards the end, it is really difficult to deal with. To a man, and I include myself in this, we let ourselves and the badge down, which is so disappointing.
“We just didn’t turn up, it is as simple as that.
“We can’t be a soft touch and be a Hibs that are perceived to be one of these teams that can be got at.
“We played well against Aberdeen and got the win and then we did it again against Hearts.
“To then let ourselves down against Livingston ... we need to be more consistent and start putting runs together. We need to go to places like Livingston and not lose – even if we don’t win.”
Hibs, who return from the winter break on January 18 in a Scottish Cup clash at Dundee United, have amassed 25 points with only six wins from their opening 21 games, and McGregor knows they need to improve if they are to realise their target of finishing in the top four.
He added: “To sum up the season so far I would say it has been okay, average. We are mid-table but we should be higher. We have to come back, work harder and start climbing the table.
“The gaffer said we have to set ourselves targets, and for a club like Hibs that should be the top four at least.”
With the January transfer window about to open, McGregor is bracing himself for new arrivals.
“I would imagine the gaffer will be looking to strengthen things, they always are, especially a team of our size,” he added.
“It will be up to the gaffer to say if new faces are needed, but I think it would be a smart move to look for players that can be better than what you have already.
“Every team is striving for positive results and to climb the table, they want to strengthen.
“I am so disappointed because you are only as good as your last result, and ours wasn’t very good.”