Neil Lennon threatened to walk away from Hibs in the summer following the 2-1 derby defeat by Hearts at Tynecastle which blew his side’s chances of finishing second in the Premiership.
The Easter Road head coach was furious with the performance which leaves Hibs in fourth place. They play third-placed Rangers on Sunday and must win 6-0 to overhaul the Ibrox side. Aberdeen, currently second, are four points ahead of Hibs and out of reach with one round of games left.
“We threw it away. Unprofessional. Not good enough,” fumed Lennon, unhappy that his players failed to heed his pre-match advice. “We look like we’re going to finish fourth, which is unacceptable to me.
“I will be considering my position over the summer. Just in general. I know my own personal aims and ambitions and I can’t watch that in derbies. It’s not good enough. I don’t know. We’ve got a board meeting next week. So we’ll see.”
It was only the Leith side’s second defeat in the last 12 derbies and Lennon’s threat to quit will come as a major blow to a fanbase already nursing concerns about the way a bright season is ending. Only the top three are guaranteed European football next term but the fourth-placed side will also qualify for the Europa League if Celtic beat Motherwell in the Scottish Cup final.
“Nothing lasts forever,” added Lennon. “I’ve been here two years, made great strides. But I’ve got to think about myself. Maybe I’m a bit over-emotional but fourth isn’t good enough. The players have reached standards. But they’re a bit short tonight.
“We had a great opportunity to go into Sunday with everything to play for and credit Hearts, they played the way we knew they would play. But we did not meet the challenge.”
He said that with key performers like Dylan McGeouch likely to depart in the summer, there was a rebuilding job to be done and he remains unsure if he is the man to oversee that.
“I don’t feel I’ve taken this club as far as I can,” Lennon added. “But do I want to do it? I have to think about that. It will come down to a lot. The squad is going to be different. We’ve a lot of work to do, obviously. But we’re not moving in the direction, the right way, at the minute.”
For Hearts, it was a chance to get one over on their rivals and prove that, despite league positions, they remain a major player.
After the last derby Lennon had insisted that the massive points differential rendered the Gorgie side “irrelevant” but Hearts manager Craig Levein said his men had made a mockery of that statement.
“We’ve put them out of the Scottish Cup and stopped them being second. Is that irrelevant?” asked Levein.
“It rated pretty highly to be honest. I had been frustrated by the way things have gone this season so it is important to send fans away happy after last home game.”