Joe Newell 'hurting' as Hibs midfielder admits costly mistake in Aberdeen defeat

When the battle for third place is so tight, there is little room for error. Especially at Pittodrie, against a team buoyed by an almost blemish-free home record.

While Jim Goodwin’s men have dropped points in just one of their six league games in the Granite City, having now won the head to heads against their four nearest challengers, Hibs admit that they contributed to their own downfall on Friday.

With five defeats from seven on the road, they were usurped in third, and the long journey back to the capital left plenty of time for introspection.

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“We have to start winning more games away from home,” admitted Joe Newell, who held his hands up to the part he played in Hibs throwing away a game that they had a decent handle on before losing a late first-half penalty.

“Our home form has been good other than the game against St Johnstone when the red card changed it. Other than that we have done well at Easter Road but if we want to be third and we think we are more than good enough to do that we need to turn it around.

“We need to be harder to beat, we need to chat as a group and see what we can maybe change and go from there.”

On a night when VAR hogged the headlines Hibs own failings were central to the outcome and Newell acknowledges the need to kick out individual mistakes if they are serious about finishing third.

“We started really well and created chances, without them being glorious opportunities. Then the penalty before half time knocked us but then we can’t concede the soft goals we did in the second half.

Joe Newell looks dejected as Hibs crash to a 4-1 defeat at Aberdeen. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

“For the second goal I have to take responsibility. It was my man. I have to learn from that and be better. It came at a time that killed us.

“We said at half time we were the better team and we had to put the foot on the gas but to concede from a set-piece is very poor. I’m hurting by that but I have to pick myself up and go again.

“If we want to be third we have to cut out those errors and we said that in the dressing room after the game. We know that box to box we are as good as anyone in the league but errors have cost us. We shouldn’t have left Aberdeen with a 4-1 defeat.”

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Slack in their own box, they were nowhere near as clinical as Aberdeen in the opposition’s.

“We have some key players missing like Martin Boyle, Kevin Nisbet and Aiden McGeady,” explained Newell. “They are three crucial players and they are all match winners, very talented players so to have them back will be good for us but I feel we are, playing wise, we are in a good vein of form.

“Against Dundee United and St Johnstone we played well and didn’t deserve to lose. Last week we won 3-0. I can only speak for myself but this is a kick up the arse. You can’t get done like I did. We need to look at ourselves and keep working hard and believing, as we are more than good enough to finish third in this league.”

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