Hibs' Lee Johnson says where team was 'distinctly average' in Falkirk defeat and outlines reaction

Hibs manager Lee Johnson says that their Premier Sports Cup defeat to Falkirk was disappointing but added that it was also illuminating as he continues to learn about his players.

Lee Johnson looks crestfallen during Hibs' 1-0 defeat by Falkirk in the Premier Sports Cup.
Lee Johnson looks crestfallen during Hibs' 1-0 defeat by Falkirk in the Premier Sports Cup.

Annoyed at the poor first-half showing in particular, the Hibs manager said that every time he sees the players in action – at the training ground or on the pitch – it helps inform decisions moving forward.

“I’m massively disappointed,” he said of a first half in which their League One opponents had the better of the chances before eventually grabbing what proved the only goal of the match in the 39th minute, when Adam Nesbitt netted a header. “It wasn’t good enough. It was just poor but the beauty of the clarity the lads have got is we’re clear why we were so poor.

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"We will go back to the drawing board and show them that. We were happy to make changes, were a lot stronger and better in the second half. We were good up to a point but maybe lacked finesse in the final third.

“But we must give Falkirk credit – they out-enthused us. We got stuck in areas of the pitch – down the right we were distinctly average and gave too many sloppy ones away. These are areas we can go and work on.

"I pick the team to win the first half but every moment of every day I’m with these lads I’m learning what they can do – how they bounce back, their emotive play when the fans turn in two or three minutes. Then the dust settles and you tend to select your best 11 based on all that.”

It means that Falkirk now top the group and, heading into Sunday’s match with former Lowland League side Bonnyrigg Rose, Hibs really can’t afford to drop any more points if they want to guarantee safe passage into the next round.

“In my head it’s a 45-minute blip but I’ve learned a lot in a very good three or four weeks. What we don’t want it too many halves like that because we’re keen to build that credit and trust with the fans. It’s up to us to deliver and we didn’t first half.”

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