One thing I can say for sure is the defeat by Motherwell was one of the most disappointing performances I have seen at Easter Road in a long time.
The result from Rugby Park between Kilmarnock and Celtic prior to kick-off would have provided some additional inspiration for the visiting squad to take all three points and consolidate on second position in the table. Sadly, if the truth be told, they may not achieve an easier three points for the remainder of the 2011/2012 campaign.
Losing is always difficult to accept and it can put a dampener on your Saturday evening. Most supporters would agree, however, defeats are easier to digest if the team has shown their fight to the cause, committed in challenges, battled for every ball and lose to a 30-yard postage stamp effort.
While not wanting to take anything away from Motherwell who thoroughly deserved their victory, Hibs were simply not up for the task. It is deeply concerning to see them swept aside with such ease and a lack of enthusiasm shown by some members of the squad. Motherwell were the far hungrier side from the moment the referee blew his whistle and this continued throughout the duration of the match.
I would love to be able to praise the side every week for delivering success to the club by winning football matches but we have to face reality at the moment. Despite it being October and still relatively early in the season, we need to be looking over our shoulders at what’s behind us as opposed to looking up the table. Performances like Saturday merit nothing but a defeat and teams will continue to identify Hibs as an encounter where points should be taken.
Instead of being positive and trying to put our opponents under pressure, there appears to be a nervousness integrating amongst the players with the level of intensity nowhere near it should be. For Motherwell to have such space and time on the ball, as they did, not forgetting a moment when around 20 passes went unchallenged, is not something you expect to see from any team. The Fir Park side appeared to enjoy their day’s work in the Capital and if this is to continue, they won’t be the last team to feel this way.
I understand there is still plenty of football to be played this season and most clubs will experience a dip in form at one point or another. I just hope we have seen the end of our poor run and can show the desire that every footballer should have when he pulls on that jersey. It’s one attribute every fan craves to see and can often prove the decisive factor between winning and losing. It can’t be pleasing for the players to leave the pitch to a chorus of jeers but you have to accept supporters are entitled to vent their frustrations. On the other hand, the players and management can amend this by putting in some hard graft and grinding out results. We must now get our house in order.
The only place you can earn a reputation for yourself as an individual and as a team is on the park. It is at this point when everything else will look after itself. There will be a lot of players looking for a move within the January transfer window and would be delighted to be given the opportunity to play for a club the size of Hibs. I am aware from my own personal experience that when you leave this club, it can be very difficult. You may wish to continue your career elsewhere, however, unless the move doesn’t involve a trip along the M8 to one of the Old Firm or the migration south of the Border, you are very quickly forgotten. Hopefully an analysis of Saturday’s defeat and another agonising study of the league table may spark the club into life before it’s too late.