{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"hibs","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-average-home-gates-hit-43-year-record-high-1-4268220","id":"1.4268220","articleHeadline": "Hibs’ average home gates hit 43-year record high","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1477459821000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs’ average home gates for league matches have hit a 43-year record – and chief executive Leeann Dempster has predicted they’ll soar even higher.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4268219.1477408956!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Leeann Dempster reckons Hibs' gates will soar even higher. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The Easter Road outfit’s first four Championship games have attracted more than 69,500 fans to the Edinburgh ground, the fixtures against Dunfermline, Morton, Ayr United and Dundee United each watched by an average crowd of 15,381, a figure not seen since the 1972-73 campaign when the gate averaged 16,100 throughout the season.

The rising turn-outs, insisted Dempster, are proof of the “sea-change” in attitude towards the Capital outfit since they ended their 114-year pursuit of the Scottish Cup, their victory over Rangers coming just days after Falkirk had ended their promotion hopes and in the wake of an earlier Hampden heartbreak when they were beaten in the final of the League Cup by Ross County,

She said: “People’s attitude towards the team has changed and there is a real sense of deep pride in what they have achieved. I think that comes from the nature of the way we were beaten in the League Cup final [a last-minute winner for the Staggies] and the way we lost to Falkirk [again in the dying seconds of their play-off].

“If the Scottish Cup win is the height of the best feeling in football, then that night in the Falkirk Stadium was the exact opposite. To go from that to winning the Scottish Cup was a rollercoaster.”

Dempster admitted the phrase “Hibs-ed it” once got under her skin, but now, she insisted, it means something entirely different. She said: “It doesn’t wind me up any more. It was something that was used as a real negative towards the club and people often used it in a lazy way.

“We are a professional football club with professional people and that kind of language absolutely got under my skin. People can use it as much as they like now as it is a very positive thing.

“There was a whole negative spin on the ‘Hibs-ed it’ thing, but if feels like that whole period is behind us. People can revisit if they want but we can just look back on it with a wry smile now.”

And the spin-off from May 21 is, said Dempster, all too evident. Speaking at the club launched “Time for Heroes,” a DVD marking their Scottish Cup win she said: “People said to me when supporters start coming back it will be noticeable in terms of numbers as well as an energy around the club.

“From that day forward we knew we’d have a cracking summer and we knew there would be strong season ticket sales. Our average gate is nearly 15,500 and I am sure we will smash that.

“If we keep giving people what they want in good performances and not just that but by winning, then HIbs can do what other clubs have done. Look at Hearts, They saw their gates go up – and good for them – and I think we are seeing that effect now for ourselves.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4268219.1477408956!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4268219.1477408956!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Leeann Dempster reckons Hibs' gates will soar even higher. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Leeann Dempster reckons Hibs' gates will soar even higher. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4268219.1477408956!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-lewis-stevenson-surreal-to-see-proclaimers-in-awe-of-me-1-4268109","id":"1.4268109","articleHeadline": "Hibs’ Lewis Stevenson: ‘Surreal’ to see Proclaimers in awe of me","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1477459840000 ,"articleLead": "

The Proclaimers are well used to lapping up the adulation of thousands of fans as they take the stage each night.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4268106.1477405567!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lewis Stevenson promotes Hibs 'Time for Heroes' DVD, which goes on sale this Friday. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

But the tables were turned when Hibs-daft Charlie and Craig Reid agreed to play some of their best known hits at Lewis Stevenson’s sell-out 
testimonial dinner.

Known world-wide and well accustomed to rubbing shoulders with some of the music business’ biggest names, the twins found themselves reacting like any other Hibs fan as they finally got their hands on the Scottish Cup, the trophy which had eluded the Easter Road club for 114 years.

“It was surreal,” recalled 
Stevenson, a veteran of more than ten years in a green-and-white shirt and 322 appearances for the Capital outfit.

“They were the ones who did me a favour that night, but they were almost in awe and they were thanking me, saying what we’d managed to do meant to much to them.

“It was a massive thing for them. They were just so happy and so pleased. I saw them with the cup and they were just like normal fans, getting their photos taken with it.

“They’re known all over the world so it was nice to see what it meant to them. They might have been happy to change places with me on that day at Hampden – but maybe not at one of the less glamorous away games on a Tuesday night.”

If Charlie and Craig might gladly have swapped the stage for the pitch that day in May, Stevenson admitted he wouldn’t mind extending the current “Persevered Tour”, which has seen the cup visit dozens of local venues in recent weeks by helping the duo to take it to an even wider audience.

“I wouldn’t mind joining them on one of their tours,” said the 28-year-old. “I’ve had a look at their itinerary and they go to some nice places in 
America which would be good.”

Five months on from that historic day at Hampden and the euphoria surrounding it refuses to fade, the Easter Road club this week launching a DVD, a near three-hour epic recalling the cup campaign, the after-match party and, of course, the stunning scenes in the Capital as 150,000 took to the streets as Alan Stubbs and his players paraded the trophy.

Man-of-the-match at the age of 19 as Hibs lifted the CIS Insurance Cup nine years ago, Stevenson revealed he believed he was destined to end his career as “a failure”, two previous Scottish Cup finals having ended in defeat.

Now he stands as the first Hibs player to have won both the Scottish and League Cups but, he insisted, he has his sights on adding further silverware before he hangs up his boots.

Joking that he was 
“disappointed” there was no red carpet as he and his 
team-mates gathered at the Vue Cinema at Ocean Terminal for the premiere of “Time for Heroes” on the big screen, Stevenson said: “I’ve been through a few bad experiences which you’ll be remembered for, so it’s nice to be remembered for a happy moment. Hibs have been around so long, but it’s one of the biggest moments in the club’s history.

“I feel very lucky to be 
part of it but I’ve never 
actually watched the game back, even though I know the score. I hate seeing myself playing, it doesn’t feel like me.”

Revealing John Collins – boss when Hibs won the CIS Cup – was one of the first to text his congratulations on landing the “big one”, Stevenson said: “I genuinely thought I was destined for failure so it was such a relief and a weight off my shoulders.

“I’ve heard a few times I’m the first Hibs player to win both cups, but I’m lucky to have been here for so long. I suppose it was going to happen to someone to I’m just glad it was me.

“It was incredible to see how many people turned up for the parade, it’s been life-changing.”

Stevenson admitted he’d become so used to missing out – Hibs had been beaten in the League Cup final by Ross County only two months earlier – he’d actually stopped dreaming of winning.

He said: “It’s the least confident I’ve ever been going into a final just because I’d tasted defeat so often. It makes it worse when you think about what it might have been.”

And, he revealed, he felt another chance had slipped through his fingers as Rangers midfielder Andy Halliday put the Ibrox club ahead, only for Anthony Stokes to claim his second of the game before skipper David Gray’s stunning last-minute winner.

He said: “I thought when Halliday scored that might have been it for us, although if we’d lost I wouldn’t have admitted to it.

“There was a part of me that thought ‘here we go again, we’ve flattered to deceive’ because I thought we’d been playing quite well at that point. We battled back and the rest is history I suppose.

Hopefully we can go on and win a few more, I don’t see why not. The league and promotion is our main priority this season, but we still want to have a good shot at the cups.”

Stevenson revealed those who study the DVD closely – around 2000 have already been pre-ordered with in-store sales beginning on Friday – will spot he’s actually missing as his team-mates join in that emotional rendition of The Proclaimers classic “Sunshine on Leith following the trophy presentation.

He said: “It was nice 
to have my kids Louie and Luna behind the podium, it was a special moment. I’m not there because I was with them, it’s something I’ll always treasure.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4268106.1477405567!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4268106.1477405567!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lewis Stevenson promotes Hibs 'Time for Heroes' DVD, which goes on sale this Friday. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lewis Stevenson promotes Hibs 'Time for Heroes' DVD, which goes on sale this Friday. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4268106.1477405567!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4268107.1477405570!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4268107.1477405570!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lewis Stevenson is the only Hibs player to lift the Scottish Cup and League Cup","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lewis Stevenson is the only Hibs player to lift the Scottish Cup and League Cup","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4268107.1477405570!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4268108.1477405573!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4268108.1477405573!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Charlie and Craig Reid of the Proclaimers were delighted to get their hands on the Scottish Cup. Pic: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Charlie and Craig Reid of the Proclaimers were delighted to get their hands on the Scottish Cup. Pic: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4268108.1477405573!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-chief-dempster-left-really-gutted-by-sacking-of-stubbs-1-4268136","id":"1.4268136","articleHeadline": "Hibs chief Dempster left ‘really gutted’ by sacking of Stubbs","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1477459820000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster has admitted to being “really gutted” to hear of former Easter Road boss Alan Stubbs being sacked by Rotherham United.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4268135.1477406382!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Former Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs was back in Edinburgh on Monday night for the launch of Hibs' Scottish Cup winning DVD. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

And although insisting she couldn’t speak for the club rooted to the foot of the English Championship, Dempster revealed she believes football club managers need time to make an impact.

Stubbs was axed by the South Yorkshire outfit barely five months after quitting Edinburgh only days after guiding Hibs to their first Scottish Cup triumph in 114 years.

Speaking as Stubbs returned to the Capital for the launch of the DVD Time for Heroes which 
celebrates that historic achievement, Dempster, who gave the former Celtic and Everton defender his first shot at management, said: “I was really gutted for him. I think when you start something – and we went through the same situation with Alan – you have to give them time to make the necessary changes as football clubs are big entities and you can’t change them overnight.

“I know it’s a results driven business but the Championship in England is a tough league at the best of times. It’s a tougher league when you are at a club which operates at the bottom.

“I can understand in some ways the club’s position. Equally, though, I feel that you really need to stick with something or you will have to keep re-inventing yourself.

“Look at Hibs in the recent past and you could say exactly the same thing.

I can’t speak for Rotherham, but I can speak for the Hibs board and the supporters who backed us and gave us the chance to completely change the club and change the football side of it.”

Asked if she would ever contemplate sacking a manager in such a short space of time, Dempster replied: “I have had one experience of letting a manager go but that 
appointment was down to the chairman and it was a different scenario.

“Anyone I have appointed or been involved in appointing personally so far has gone on to do something and I’m really pleased about that.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4268135.1477406382!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4268135.1477406382!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Former Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs was back in Edinburgh on Monday night for the launch of Hibs' Scottish Cup winning DVD. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Former Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs was back in Edinburgh on Monday night for the launch of Hibs' Scottish Cup winning DVD. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4268135.1477406382!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-striker-james-keatings-ruled-out-for-six-weeks-1-4268271","id":"1.4268271","articleHeadline": "Hibs striker James Keatings ruled out for six weeks","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1477410368000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs striker James Keatings was today ruled out of action for six weeks due to a knee injury.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4268270.1477411087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "James Keatings has scored one goal for Hibs this season"} ,"articleBody": "

The 24-year-old had to be helped off the pitch after attempting to block a clearance during Saturday’s 3-1 win at Dunfermline.

Keatings, who left East End Park on crutches, received scan results today which confirmed a partial tear to his medial ligament.

The player tweeted: “Gutted to be ruled out for 6 weeks. There’s never a good time to get injured. Time now to work hard and come back stronger.”

Click here for the latest Hibs results, fixtures and stats>>>

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4268270.1477411087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4268270.1477411087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "James Keatings has scored one goal for Hibs this season","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "James Keatings has scored one goal for Hibs this season","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4268270.1477411087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4268304.1477412080!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4268304.1477412080!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Keatings was wearing a knee brace while at last night's premiere of Hibs' Scottish Cup final DVD 'Time for Heroes'","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Keatings was wearing a knee brace while at last night's premiere of Hibs' Scottish Cup final DVD 'Time for Heroes'","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4268304.1477412080!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/alan-stubbs-reunited-with-hibs-for-scottish-cup-dvd-launch-1-4267672","id":"1.4267672","articleHeadline": "Alan Stubbs reunited with Hibs for Scottish Cup DVD launch","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1477386128000 ,"articleLead": "

Former Hibs boss Alan Stubbs was reunited with his Easter Road squad for one night only as the Capital club launched a DVD to celebrate their historic Scottish Cup win.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4267712.1477387841!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Marvin Bartley walks in alongside Alan Stubbs. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Stubbs, sacked only a few days ago by English Championship strugglers Rotherham United, was joined by his management team of John Doolan and Andy Holden last night for the premiere of “Time for Heroes” at the Vue Cinema at Ocean Terminal.

The near three-hour epic chronicles Hibs journey to Hampden via victories over Raith Rovers, Hearts, Inverness Caley and Dundee United, on to the ultimate glory of ending the club’s 114-year wait for the trophy, the after-match party and what Stubbs described as the “mindblowing” scenes as 150,000 jubilant fans thronged the streets of Edinburgh the following day.

Tonight 350 Hibs supporters will be attending an advanced screening at the same venue of the DVD, featuring interviews with Stubbs, Doolan, captain David Gray, two-goal hero Anthony Stokes, goalkeeper Conrad Logan and the vast majority of the cup-winning squad.

The DVD is available instore from Friday but Hibs have already taken 2000 advance orders.


" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4267712.1477387841!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4267712.1477387841!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Marvin Bartley walks in alongside Alan Stubbs. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Marvin Bartley walks in alongside Alan Stubbs. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4267712.1477387841!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4267671.1477386215!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4267671.1477386215!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Alan Stubbs led Hibs to Scottish Cup glory last season. Picture: Neil Hanna","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alan Stubbs led Hibs to Scottish Cup glory last season. Picture: Neil Hanna","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4267671.1477386215!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/patience-pays-off-for-hibs-defender-liam-fontaine-1-4267031","id":"1.4267031","articleHeadline": "Patience pays off for Hibs defender Liam Fontaine","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1477373458000 ,"articleLead": "

Liam Fontaine wouldn’t claim it was worth the wait, but the Hibs defender is delighted the patience he’d shown in recovering from injury paid off in the shape of not only his first game in more than two months but a much-needed victory for Neil Lennon’s side.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4267030.1477315484!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Liam Fontaine, far left, was delighted to be involved in Hibs' win over Dunfermline. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The Easter Road defender, however, would insist his return to action and the end of a five-match winless streak was purely coincidental, having witnessed at first-hand those games and sharing his team-mates’ claims that they hadn’t got as much as they deserved from them.

But now, he believes, the 3-1 win against Dunfermline can be the spark for the Capital club who now sit three points clear at the top of the Championship table, a narrower advantage than many might have thought when they won their first five league games, but one which Fontaine insists is fully merited.

“It was great to be back in – and with a win,” he said, “I’d been out for a bit longer than I first expected to be, but I have done my hard work and was delighted the gaffer put me in.”

Coincidentally, the 30-year-old’s last appearance had been in Hibs’ first home league game of the season when the Pars were also Hibs’ opponents, a calf injury then putting him out of action.

As tempting as it might have been, Fontaine was determined not to rush his return, aware that the strength in depth of Lennon’s squad could well mean a hasty comeback which resulted in a further injury could see him sidelined for an even longer period.

He said: “I thought I’d be out for a month, to be honest. I don’t know how the injury happened, but they do.

“I dealt with it the right way to come back strong. We have a squad big enough to cope so I wanted to wait until I was ready and I’m glad I did.

“You want to come back stronger whenever you are injured and that’s what I did.”

Although he’d returned to training before the no-scoring draw against Raith Rovers the week before, Fontaine’s return was delayed another seven days, allowing him to play 63 minutes of a midweek development squad game against Motherwell in which he scored the opening goal in a 3-0 win.

He said: “I wasn’t match fit for Raith so I played with the Under-20s and to then play the full 90 minutes for the first team and win was great.”

It was a victory, though, that Fontaine felt was long overdue, the former Bristol City skipper saying: “It’s hard sitting out, ask any player having to watch is the most horrible part of being injured.

“But you can learn a lot from watching as well. I went to quite a lot of the games, away as well, watching you can see what we are trying to do.

“The lads have been playing well but the results hadn’t been coming. However, we knew if we kept at it – we’re a good squad with good players – that we won’t let anyone in 
the league stand in our way.”

Going a goal down to a highly controversial first-half Kallum Higginbotham penalty was a test of character for Lennon’s players, particularly given the outcome of their previous matches but, insisted Fontaine, the fightback after the interval showed what this Hibs squad is all about.

He said: “I don’t know what the penalty was for, but I’m not going into it. It was given and refs aren’t going to change their minds.

“Watch the game and you’d see us rallying around each other and, credit to us, we stuck at it. I thought we’d done okay in the first half but in the second we were very good – you could visibly see our strength, power, pace and use of the ball.

“Our composure and quality on the ball second half was, in my opinion, was why we went on to win 3-1 and that was thoroughly deserved.

“We knew if we got one we’d go on and get more – and it could have been more than three.”

Hibs did need a wicked deflection off Pars defender Nat Wedderburn which took James Keatings’ shot beyond goalkeeper Sean Murdoch but, argued Fontaine, it was the slice of luck which the Capital side haven’t enjoyed for a while.

He said: “Keats is always dangerous, he can whip a ball in from anywhere. Yes, it took a deflection, but sometimes you need that bit of luck.

“But even beforehand you could feel it was coming, the pressure was building and eventually it did and we went on to get two more.”

The second goal came via the penalty spot, Grant Holt converting, but Fontaine reckoned the determination to win was underlined by the nature of their third goal, midfielder Andrew Shinnie cutting the ball back for substitute Brian Graham fire home deep into added-on time.

He said: “I think most people thought we’d just keep it in the corner and try to run down the clock. But Andrew did well, lays it on a plate for Brian who finishes like any good striker would. I think it put a fairer reflection on the scoreline, but whether we won 3-1 or 1-0 just getting the result was the main things because, as I’ve said, performances, bar one which wasn’t in the league, have been good. So I think we got what we have been deserving in our last three or four games.”

An added bonus was the discovery that both Falkirk and Queen of the South had dropped points. Fontaine added: “That was good for us, but there’s still along way to go. We’re top of the league because we deserve to be there and after a spell when we’ve not been getting the results this give us a chance to put another run together, that’s the hope.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4267030.1477315484!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4267030.1477315484!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Liam Fontaine, far left, was delighted to be involved in Hibs' win over Dunfermline. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Liam Fontaine, far left, was delighted to be involved in Hibs' win over Dunfermline. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4267030.1477315484!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-face-injury-sweat-over-striker-james-keatings-1-4267267","id":"1.4267267","articleHeadline": "Hibs face injury sweat over striker James Keatings","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1477373402000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs were today sweating over the fitness of James Keatings after the striker was sent for a scan on the knee injury which forced him to limp out of the 3-1 victory over Dunfermline.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4267266.1477327610!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "James Keatings is awaiting scan results on his injured knee"} ,"articleBody": "

Keatings was left in obvious pain after attempting to block a clearance only minutes after his shot deflected off Pars midfielder Nat Wedderburn to cancel out Kallum Higginbotham’s opener for the Fife outfit, so paving the way for the Capital club to end a run of five winless matches and go three points clear at the top of the Championship table.

He had to be helped off the pitch and was seen leaving East End Park on crutches and with his knee in a brace. The immediate worry was that the 24-year-old had suffered medial ligament damage which would put him out of action for a number of weeks. Keatings had the scan yesterday but Hibs medical staff will have to await until the results are available before deciding on a course of treatment for the player although it looks all but certain he’ll be ruled out of this weekend’s clash with St Mirren at Easter Road.

The former Hamliton and Hearts hitman had started against the Pars ahead of top scorer Jason Cummings, which, according to team-mate Liam Fontaine, underlined the strength of Neil Lennon’s squad.

Fontaine, who himself returned after a two-month absence caused by a calf injury, saw further goals from Grant Holt and substitute Brian Graham clinch the win and insisted 35-year-old Holt is setting the benchmark for his younger team-mates.

He said: “Holty was different class against Dunfermline. With his work-rate, he is setting the stall out for the younger strikers to raise their game. We want to make each other raise our game and push on.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4267266.1477327610!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4267266.1477327610!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "James Keatings is awaiting scan results on his injured knee","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "James Keatings is awaiting scan results on his injured knee","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4267266.1477327610!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/michael-weir-time-for-hibs-to-go-on-winning-run-again-1-4266273","id":"1.4266273","articleHeadline": "Michael Weir: Time for Hibs to go on winning run again","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1477287020000 ,"articleLead": "

Now that we’ve hopefully snapped out of our autumn slump, it’s time for Hibs to kick on and start stamping our authority on this league.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4266272.1477243329!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs boss Neil Lennon congratulates John McGinn and Paul Hanlon after the defeat of Dunfermline. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Our form had become a bit concerning in recent weeks, but Saturday’s win at 
Dunfermline proves we’ve still got plenty about us, both in terms of spirit and quality.

Mentally, no matter how good a team you are, it’s 
always a test when you’re not winning games. It’s great when you’re winning every week but, it’s a whole lot harder to win games when you’ve been on a bad run, so that was a real test for Hibs to come through at East End Park.

When you’re on a run like we were, it’s easy to fear the worst when you go a goal down away from home. Plenty teams would have collapsed in that situation, especially given that the 
penalty looked soft, so it’s a really positive sign that they reacted positively.

Hopefully, now that we’ve finally got the win, everything will settle down again because we need to get on a run to ease the nerves and get us away from the pack.

We’ve got to be looking to beat St Mirren on Saturday and start building some momentum again. If we can do that, everybody at the club will start to feel more 
confident about themselves. Falkirk and Queen of the South getting beat on 
Saturday was a bonus, but ultimately it’s all about what we do. If we can get a good bit ahead of the pack, then we’ve got more than enough about us to win the league.

Consistency is the key now because we don’t want to be dropping points every other week and become bogged down in a dogfight where everybody’s beating each other. That’s when the nerves would really start kicking in.

The main thing about this slump we’ve had is that it came at the start of the season instead the end. We dipped at a time when we had plenty time to recover but, as we found out last season, it’s a lot harder when you dip nearer the end of a campaign.

We might not have done it the easy way, but we’re top of the league in late October and have given ourselves a good platform to kick on and start showing that we’re the best team in this league.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4266272.1477243329!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4266272.1477243329!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs boss Neil Lennon congratulates John McGinn and Paul Hanlon after the defeat of Dunfermline. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs boss Neil Lennon congratulates John McGinn and Paul Hanlon after the defeat of Dunfermline. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4266272.1477243329!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/darren-mcgregor-win-at-dunfermline-will-kick-start-hibs-season-1-4266259","id":"1.4266259","articleHeadline": "Darren McGregor: Win at Dunfermline will kick-start Hibs’ season","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1477287014000 ,"articleLead": "

Darren McGregor today claimed Hibs 3-1 victory over Dunfermline, which ended a run of five winless games for Neil Lennon’s side, will kick-start the Easter Road club’s season.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4266258.1477242666!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs celebrate Brian Graham's goal against Dunfermline. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The win at East End Park 
sent the Capital outfit three points clear at the top of the Championship table, with 
McGregor insisting he and his team-mates had produced their best 45 minutes of the season as they fought back from losing a highly contentious first-half penalty.

Kallum Higginbotham had given the Pars an interval lead from the spot after referee Alan Muir adjudged a Hibs player guilty of a push in the box 
although, according to 
McGregor, he couldn’t say by who or on whom.

But a deflected James 
Keatings shot, a Grant Holt penalty and a strike in added-on time from substitute Brian Graham gave Hibs their first win since beating Dumbarton six weeks ago and one which assistant boss Garry Parker 
insisted was fully deserved.

However, McGregor revealed that second-half display had been prompted by a dressing-room dressing-down by Lennon 
at half time.

The defender said: “The 
gaffer had a few choice words, that’s the way he is. He had a good word with us and said to go out and give it a right good go, which we did.

“We have to step up to the mark, we know coming to 
places like this will be difficult, but with the players and talent we know we have, we can play well.

“I think we let our 
standards slip in the first half, but in the second we showed character and the potential we have. I would say that was our best 45 minutes of the season, we scored three, didn’t concede and we didn’t allow them to create much, so I thought it was good.”

McGregor conceded he and his team-mates had, perhaps, been suffering from a “psychological block” in recent games through losing goals and not creating as many chances as they believed they should.

Now, though, he believes this much-needed win will put Hibs back on track. He said: “I think all that was put to bed with that second-half performance. The main thing was to get over the stumbling block of draws, not conceding and not capitalising on our chances.

“I think to come back from one down and score three shows the character which, hopefully, will kick-start our season.

“We weren’t happy with the first quarter, we started really well but hit a sticky patch. However, if that’s our bad patch for the season we’ll take it and move on. We have massive potential in the squad, players on the bench who could play for any other team in this league. We know we have the strength in depth, we’ll keep working and keep confidence high.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4266258.1477242666!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4266258.1477242666!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs celebrate Brian Graham's goal against Dunfermline. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs celebrate Brian Graham's goal against Dunfermline. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4266258.1477242666!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/upturn-in-fortunes-for-hibs-despite-ref-s-odd-penalty-call-1-4266285","id":"1.4266285","articleHeadline": "Upturn in fortunes for Hibs – despite ref’s odd penalty call","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1477256417000 ,"articleLead": "

Given Hibs’ recent run, it was probably just what they needed to turn their fortunes around, a James Keatings shot which, according to Dunfermline boss Allan Johnston, was heading “ten to 15 yards wide” before clipping Nat Wedderburn and ending up in the Pars’ net.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4266284.1477243979!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Brian Graham nets Hibs' third goal against Dunfermline. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

A slice of luck it may have been, but there’s little doubt that strike, which cancelled out Kallum Higginbotham’s highly contentious first-half penalty which had left Neil Lennon’s players staring at a sixth 
successive match without a win.

Throughout that period the Hibs manager has argued, with some justification, that his side weren’t getting the breaks any team needs, for example, the two red cards shown to Easter Road midfield enforcer Marvin Bartley, both rescinded but too late to prevent damage, in the shape of dropped points, 

And once more it looked as if Lady Luck had deserted the Capital club, a Keatings 
free-kick which caught the top of Dunfermline goalkeeper Sean Murdoch’s bar; an Andy Shinnie cross which flashed through the danger area inches from the reach of both Keatings and Grant Holt; a Fraser Fyvie free-kick which had Murdoch at full stretch and then a Paul Hanlon header which came back off the base of the post.

Amid all this Johnston’s side had nosed ahead, referee Alan Muir apparently the only one inside East End Park who spotted the push as Hibs defended a Higginbotham cross which led to him pointing to the spot.

Even the official, revealed Hibs defender Darren McGregor, couldn’t give a clear explanation, all eyes having been on goalkeeper Ofir Marciano flapping at the ball which was then headed to safety by Hanlon 
although Pars midfielder Andy Geggan did end up on the deck.

McGregor said: “I’m 
never one for calling refs out, but I asked him and he said 
someone had pushed somebody. But he couldn’t identify who it was from us and who it was from their team. There was a bit of a stramash, the ball had come over me but went back out but he calls a pen. We are none the wiser to be honest.”

If Hibs were stunned, they could have been left all but beaten two minutes later, Gavin Reilly threading a pass through for former Easter Road hitman Farid El Alagui who, somehow, had remained onside. But he appeared as surprised as anyone scuffing a low shot which Marciano held with some 

“I thought we were different class first half,” claimed Johnston. “We looked as if we were the team on top, You expect Hibs to create a few chances but we were compact and looked good on the break.”

He admitted, however, to 
being disappointed at his side’s reaction to being hauled level saying: “It’s goals that change games and their first gave them a massive lift. There was a huge deflection, it was maybe going ten or 15 yards wide but ends up in the net.

“We stopped doing what we had been doing and it was so frustrating to put in a second-half performance as we did.”

As Johnston pointed out, confidence coursed through Lennon’s players and they got a penalty of their own – and no doubt about it. Lee Ashcroft misjudged a ball over the top, allowing Shinnie to get goal side of him and resorting to bundling the midfielder over.

Holt, who had complained the previous week of having two clear cut penalty claims waved away despite him being man-handled, stepped up to send Murdoch the wrong way.

It looked enough to earn the three points as Hibs completely dominated the second half, their best 45 minutes of football this season according to McGregor, but in added-on time substitute Brian Graham was on hand to hammer home Shinnie’s cutback to put what the 3000 fans who had made the journey from the Capital would feel was a fairer 
reflection on the final scoreline.

It was significant that with Liam Fontaine fit again for the first time since the opening day of the season that Lennon opted for a back three, a formation which had served Hibs well in those early days with Dunfermline failing to cause too many problems for their visitors.

Shinnie, after a stuttering start to his season-long loan in Edinburgh, looked more like the midfield playmaker he was at Inverness Caley but, insisted, Holt, the key was the togetherness of Lennon’s squad, epitomised, he insisted by Keatings running 35 yards to put in a block which resulted in him limping off with a knee injury.

The striker said: “I said last week about people calling us ‘soft’. Well, we battered Raith Rovers last week and we bullied the life out of them today.”

The win sent Hibs three points clear at the top of the 
table as Queen of the South and Falkirk surprisingly lost, results which again underline the often ignored highly competitive nature of the Championship, every side capable of taking points off each other.

Next up basement club St Mirren and a chance to wreak some sort of revenge for their Irn-Bru Cup victory at Easter Road at the start of the month on a day when title rivals Dundee United, Queen of the South, Raith Rovers and Falkirk all face each other. All focus, of course, will be on taking care of their own business but admitted Lennon’s assistant Garry Parker, having hit the summit, the management pair will be looking for their players to start to stretch their advantage.

He said: “At half time we did think it might be another one of those days. We didn’t think it was a penalty but you have to get on with it.

“We had good chat at half time and we got the bit of luck we needed with the deflected goal.

“We deserved that and from then on we controlled the game and deserved the win in the end. The manager had a go at them at half time, rightly so, but they are good lads and they went out there and showed what they are all about.

“We just want to keep winning games now and try to climb away at the top. That is our main objective as we keep striving to get promoted.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4266284.1477243979!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4266284.1477243979!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Brian Graham nets Hibs' third goal against Dunfermline. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Brian Graham nets Hibs' third goal against Dunfermline. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4266284.1477243979!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/dunfermline-1-hibs-3-hibs-go-clear-at-the-top-of-the-championship-1-4265635","id":"1.4265635","articleHeadline": "Dunfermline 1, Hibs 3: Hibs go clear at the top of the Championship","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1477151993190 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs came from behind to go three points clear at the top of the Championship with their first victory in six matches.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4265633.1477152104!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs defender Paul Hanlon and Dunfermline's on-loan Hearts striker Gavin Reilly tussle for the ball watched by John McGinn"} ,"articleBody": "

Dunfermline had taken the lead through a hugely controversial first half Kallum Higginbotham penalty but James Keatings pulled them level before Grant Holt secured the points from the spot after team-mate Andrew Shinnie had been bundled over by the Pars Lee Ashcroft.

And in added-on time substitute Brian Graham met Shinnie's cutback to slam home a third for the Hibees. But there was still enough time for Dunfermline substitute Michael Moffat to be sent of for aiming a kick at Shinnie.

Keatings went close to giving Hibs the lead with a superbly struck free-kick from 25 yards which clipped the top of Sean Murdoch's cross bar.

But the Pars stunned the Edinburgh club by going ahead in the 21st minute through a highly contentious penalty. Higginbotham's initial corner was cleared but the ball was relturned to the winger who sent in a hanging cross. Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano flapped but Paul Hanlon got his head to the ball only for referee Alan Muir to point to the spot. He had seen a push which had sent Andy Geggan to the turf, the official immediately finding himself surrounded by an angry pack of Easter Road players.

Muir, though, was never going to change his mind and Higginbotham stepped up to send |Marciano the wrong way. Dunfermline could have doubled their lead two minutes later when Gavin Reilly's pass found Farid El Alagui all alone and onside but the former Hibs striker saw Marciano get down to save.

Hibs should have been level six minutes from the interval when Shinnie drove in a low ball from the right which Keatings missed at the front post and then Holt at the back stick before Fraser Fyvie had Murdoch at full stretch to turn over his free-kick.

The Capital club went even closer five minutes after the restart, Darren McGregor nodding Fyvie's free-kick back across goal for Hanlon at full stretch to get his head to the ball which came back off the base of Murdoch's right hand post before the goalkeeper clawed it to safety.

But they did get back on level terms, Higginbotham losing possession outside his own penalty area allowing Keatings to cut across the edge of the box before unleashing a rising shot which took a deflection off Nat Wedderburn before hitting the back of the net.

It was all Hibs and they went ahead in the 65th minute as Ashcroft clearly pushed Shinnie over in the box, leaving Holt to step up and slam the ball home from 12 yards.

Keatings lasted only a few more minutes, coming off second best as he attempted to block a Dunfermlline clearance, limping off to be replaced by Martin Boyle.

Dunfermline: Murdoch, Talbot, Martin, Ashcroft, Richards-Everton,Geggan, Wedderburn, El Alagui (Hopkirk 67), Reilly, Paton (McMullan 81), Higginbotham (Moffat 69).

Substitutes not used: Hutton, Williamson, McCabe, Fordyce.

Hibs: Marciano, McGregor, Hanlon, Fontaine; Gray, Shinnie, Fyvie, McGinn, Stevenson; Keatings (Boyle 547, Holt (Graham 88).

Substitutes not used: Laidlaw, Bartley, Forster, Graham, Harris, Cummings.

Referee: Alan Muir

" ,"byline": {"email": "david.hardie@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "David Hardie"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4265633.1477152104!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4265633.1477152104!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs defender Paul Hanlon and Dunfermline's on-loan Hearts striker Gavin Reilly tussle for the ball watched by John McGinn","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs defender Paul Hanlon and Dunfermline's on-loan Hearts striker Gavin Reilly tussle for the ball watched by John McGinn","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4265633.1477152104!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4265634.1477152105!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4265634.1477152105!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs striker Grant Holt fires his side ahead from the penalty spot to set up their first win in six games","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs striker Grant Holt fires his side ahead from the penalty spot to set up their first win in six games","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4265634.1477152105!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-neil-lennon-has-sympathy-for-frustrated-dylan-mcgeouch-1-4264772","id":"1.4264772","articleHeadline": "Hibs’ Neil Lennon has sympathy for ‘frustrated’ Dylan McGeouch","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1477114241000 ,"articleLead": "

Neil Lennon is desperate for luckless midfielder Dylan McGeouch to enjoy an injury-free run so he can truly start fulfilling his potential at Hibs.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4264771.1477048119!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dylan McGeouch's Hibs career has been punctuated by injuries - the latest being a hamstring strain. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The midfielder has been plagued by fitness issues throughout his career and is currently sidelined by a niggling hamstring problem which has stopped him generating any momentum this season.

After starting four consecutive matches, the 23-year-old was ruled out of last Saturday’s goalless draw at Raith 
Rovers when the issue 
flared up again. He is set to sit out today’s trip to Dunfermline, with Lennon revealing he 
may need a period of rest to banish the problem once and for all.

“Dylan is still struggling,” said the Hibs manager. “It 
just seems to be a recurring problem at the top of his hamstring. We may have to give him more time to get it right. He felt strong enough to come back and play in a few games, but he felt it go again last week. We will assess it with the medical team but I don’t think it’ll be long-term.

“It’s not the same problem he had last season. He had a groin problem last season, so it is a different issue, but my worry is that it’s soft tissue. He has a history of pelvic issues, which it could stem from, but we’re still not convinced that’s the case. It may just be an injury in isolation.”

After having his hopes of establishing himself at boyhood club Celtic dashed by injury, McGeouch, who was one of the most highly-rated players of his generation as a teenager, has continued to be bothered by fitness problems since joining Hibs, initially on loan, just over two years ago. In his first season at Easter Road, he had a spell sidelined by an ankle issue, then last season he was afflicted by pain in 
his groins. His hamstring 
problem this season has 
restricted him to just seven starts in 14 games.

Lennon, who gave McGeouch his Celtic debut, would love to see the midfielder benefit from a sustained period of fitness. “It is heartbreaking and frustrating for him,” he said. “He hasn’t really had a consistent run in his career and maybe he just needs to do more gym work, core work, whatever it is, to solidify that area. At the minute he hasn’t been able to get a consistent run of games together.

“I liked him at Celtic, he 
was very promising. We 
took him from Rangers and he started very well. We 
were playing pre-season against Real Madrid and he was 
excellent but then he had a 
horrendous jaw break which set him back. He had more problems after I left, but Stubbsy saw enough in him and liked him. He’s got talent, there’s no question about that, but it has been a frustrating period for him.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4264771.1477048119!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4264771.1477048119!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Dylan McGeouch's Hibs career has been punctuated by injuries - the latest being a hamstring strain. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dylan McGeouch's Hibs career has been punctuated by injuries - the latest being a hamstring strain. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4264771.1477048119!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/sight-of-league-table-keeps-keatings-and-hibs-in-high-spirits-1-4264731","id":"1.4264731","articleHeadline": "Sight of league table keeps Keatings and Hibs in high spirits","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1477114238000 ,"articleLead": "

James Keatings insists a quick glance at the Championship table has been enough to ensure the Hibs players remain in a positive mindset in light of their current five-game run without a victory.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4264730.1477047256!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "James Keatings says Hibs' forwards have looked razor-sharp in training this week. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The last time the Easter Road club endured such a barren sequence – in February and March of this year – it incorporated three consecutive league defeats that effectively killed off their lingering title hopes as well as a demoralising League Cup defeat by Ross County.

Keatings, therefore, was able to maintain a philosophical outlook when he realised after last weekend’s goalless draw away to Raith Rovers that his team, despite their recent struggles, had climbed back to the top of the table for the first time in four weeks.

Asked if there was any hint of negativity around the Hibs dressing-room, the striker replied: “No, we look at the league table and we’re sitting top. We’ve been through a bad run but it’s just a matter of time before we come out of it. 
Last season we were on a bad run and it killed us. But 
this time we’ve been on a bad run and we’re still top of the league.

“The boys know we haven’t been at our best recently but we’re only going to get better. We’re just focusing on trying to get back to the form we showed at the start of the season. It’ll just take one game for things to happen for us and everything will turn.”

Hibs’ main problem in recent weeks has been a lack of goals, with only three in their last five matches. As an attacking player himself, Keatings is particularly irked by this state of affairs. “We’re just going through one of those patches in front of goal. As a striker, you want to be scoring goals. When the team’s not scoring, it’s us people look at. We’re trying our hardest, so hopefully chances start falling our way and we can start 
taking them.

“The gaffer’s added a bit of striker movement and finishing in training this week, so we’ve been working on that. If you 
see the boys finishing in training, it’s just a matter of time before it starts happening on the pitch. It’ll click in one 
game and that’ll be us off and running again.”

Keatings has been one of Hibs’ better players in recent weeks. The attacker, who has been used predominantly as a No.10 under Neil Lennon, started the season strongly before dropping to the bench when Andrew Shinnie, a natural attacking midfielder, arrived on loan from Birmingham City. Having returned to the side for the last three games, the former Hearts and Celtic striker is now aiming to generate some momentum.

“It’s been alright,” he said, when asked how he feels his own season has gone. “In the first few games I thought I played well but then I found myself on the bench for a few weeks. I’ve managed to get an opportunity again and I feel like I’ve played quite well, so hopefully I can keep building and keep myself in the team.

“It was tough for me to find space at the start against Raith last week because they were dropping a midfielder into my area all the time which made it a scrap to get on the ball. When Marvin [Bartley] got sent off, I went wide left. I just had to adapt as best I could to do a job for the team. I’m just happy to be on the pitch any opportunity I get.”

Hibs’ form recently has been badly undermined by the fact they have had to contend with three red cards at relatively early junctures in their last five games. Two of those were shown to Bartley, and both were subsequently downgraded to yellow cards, with the most recent successful appeal coming this week in the aftermath of his first-half dismissal for tangling with Raith winger Bobby Barr.

“We’re all happy for Marvin 
because he’s a big player for us,” said Keatings. “The 
manager asked him after the game if it was a red card and he said ‘no’ straight away, then we saw it back and it obviously wasn’t a red card. That’s 
football though – the ref only has a couple of seconds to make a decision and he might have seen it from a different angle. Even with ten men I felt we were the better team at Raith. Hopefully we don’t get any more sent off because if we can keep 11 men on the pitch we’ll start winning again.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4264730.1477047256!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4264730.1477047256!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "James Keatings says Hibs' forwards have looked razor-sharp in training this week. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "James Keatings says Hibs' forwards have looked razor-sharp in training this week. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4264730.1477047256!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibee-history-6-2-in-the-derby-but-it-could-have-been-more-1-4261789","id":"1.4261789","articleHeadline": "Hibee History: 6-2 in the derby but it could have been more","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1477114200000 ,"articleLead": "

“We want seven” was the chant thundering down from the Easter Road stands as jubilant Hibs fans celebrated a stunning derby demolition of arch-rivals Hearts.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4261788.1476800384!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hat-trick hero Mixu Paatelainen celebrates a Hibs goal with team-mate Franck Sauzee"} ,"articleBody": "

“Unbelievable” was how hat-trick hero Mixu Paatelainen, the first Hibs player to score three in a derby since Pat Quinn in the 4-1 win in 1967, described the preceding 90 minutes.

Having suffered so much during the previous decade at the hands of Hearts, you could hardly grudge the Hibs fans the wild celebrations which greeted the final blast of referee Hugh Dallas’ whistle.

Hibs had named the same side that started the recent game against Rangers, French striker David Zitelli, who suffered a hamstring strain after scoring the winner, having recovered in time.

Scott Severin returned for Hearts after shrugging off injuries but had to make do with a place on the bench, but fellow midfielder Lee Makel and strikers Gary Wales and Stephane Adam were all still out.

Hearts’ only change from the side that defeated Dundee United the weekend before was versatile Austrian Thomas Flogel coming in for Grant Murray at full-back.

Gordon Durie became another player, following the likes of Brian Hamilton and team-mate Darren Jackson, to don both colours in Edinburgh derbies and he marked the event, and that week’s signing of a long-term contract, by setting up the opening goal.

Fears of another goalless draw to follow the first Edinburgh derby of the season were dispelled after a mere four minutes had elapsed, when veteran striker Durie picked out the over-lapping run from Steve Fulton.

The midfielder, who had been standing in at left-back following the sale of Gary Naysmith to Everton, drove in a low cross that was turned home at the near post by Andy Kirk, who had stolen in ahead of Paul Fenwick, for his fourth goal in three games.

But the game turned in the space of two minutes as Paatelainen, earlier denied a goal for a push on Steven Pressley, struck twice from close range. Those goals gave Hibs the platform for the second 45 minutes – not so much solid foundations as a launchpad for blast-off as the Easter Road side moved on to a different planet.

With Russell Latapy and John O’Neil pulling the strings in midfield, Zitelli linked with that pair to cleverly beat the offside trap and score.

Latapy, whose languid style belied his contribution to the game, sprayed another imaginative pass out wide for O’Neil to fire in a cross which allowed Paatelainen to claim his hat-trick.

And O’Neil broke his own duck, lashing in No. 5 before Latapy completed the rout, exchanging a one-two with Paatelainen before crashing a stunning volley past Anti Niemi.

Those goals reduced Colin Cameron’s late strike for Hearts to a mere statistic.

Only six then, not the seven enjoyed by the Hibees at Tynecastle on January 1, 1973, but it could have been. Take Paatelainen’s disallowed ‘goal’, a brilliant fingertip save from Niemi denying his countryman, Latapy put through three times and failing to find the target, the Hearts goalkeeper beating aside an angled drive from Zitelli and another from Stuart Lovell – all of which could easily have beaten a lesser keeper.

Hibs: Colgan, Lovell, G. Smith, Sauzee, Fenwick, Laursen, O’Neil, Jack, Latapy, Paatelainen, Zitelli.

Hearts: Niemi, Flogel, Pressley, James, Fulton, Petric, Cameron, Tomaschek, Kirk, Durie, Juanjo.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Hibs 6, Hearts 2: October 22, 2000"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4261788.1476800384!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4261788.1476800384!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hat-trick hero Mixu Paatelainen celebrates a Hibs goal with team-mate Franck Sauzee","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hat-trick hero Mixu Paatelainen celebrates a Hibs goal with team-mate Franck Sauzee","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4261788.1476800384!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/match-preview-dunfermline-v-hibs-team-news-1-4265030","id":"1.4265030","articleHeadline": "Match preview: Dunfermline v Hibs team news","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1477064180000 ,"articleLead": "

Neil Lennon’s Hibs side travel to East End Park on Saturday without midfielders Dylan McGeouch or Danny Handling. McGeouch is out with a hamstring problem, while Handling’s long-standing battle to regain fitness after a knee injury goes on.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4265025.1477063475!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jason Cummings netted the winner last time Hibs and Dunfermline met. Pic: TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

Marvin Bartley, however, will be available to Lennon after the red card he received against Raith Rovers last week was reduced to a yellow card.

This is the second time this season the 30-year-old has had his punishment removed following an appeal, with the sending off he received against Ayr United in September also being rescinded.

Defender Liam Fontaine could return to Lennon’s match squad for the first time since the Easter Road club’s 4-0 demolition of Morton at the end of August. The central defender has not played for the club due to injury since Dunfermline were beaten 2-1 at Easter Road in August.

Pars boss manager Allan Johnston will be without winger Joe Cardle, who is still out with a knee knock. Summer signing John Herron is close to a return after an ankle injury, but Johnston suggested on Thursday that this match may come too soon for him. Nat Wedderburn, however, may return to the squad.

Ex-Hibee Farid El Alagui is expected to start against his old club and has scored four goals in his last four games, and alongside strike partner Nicky Clark and midfielder Andy Geggan will likely present the most substantial threat to Ofir Marciano’s goal.

The match is the first time the two clubs have faced each other in Fife on league business since January 2012, a game Hibs won 3-2 thanks to a brace from Leigh Griffiths.

Hibs defeated the Pars earlier in the season at Easter Road, with Jason Cummings netting in a 2-1 triumph.

Click here for the latest Hibs results, fixtures and stats>>>

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CONOR MATCHETT"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4265025.1477063475!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4265025.1477063475!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jason Cummings netted the winner last time Hibs and Dunfermline met. Pic: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jason Cummings netted the winner last time Hibs and Dunfermline met. Pic: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4265025.1477063475!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4265041.1477064150!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4265041.1477064150!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": ".","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": ".","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4265041.1477064150!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/marvin-bartley-i-ll-never-change-way-i-play-for-hibs-1-4264139","id":"1.4264139","articleHeadline": "Marvin Bartley: I’ll never change way I play for Hibs","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1477027846000 ,"articleLead": "

Midfield enforcer Marvin Bartley today vowed never to change the way he plays, insisting justice has been done after he won a second appeal against a red card.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4264138.1476981067!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs midfielder Marvin Bartley will be free to face Dunfermline tomorrow after his red card against Raith was downgraded to a yellow. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

After going more than five years without being sent off, the Hibs star found himself heading for an early bath twice in just three Championship matches.

Bartely was left shaking his head in disbelief as referee Nick Walsh flashed the red card at him following a challenge on Ayr United’s Jamie Adams and was clearly distraught when he suffered the same fate last weekend, Stephen Finnie sending him off after he clashed with Raith Rovers Bobby Barr.

However, the Easter Road club backed their man on both occasions, lodging appeals and winning them as Walsh, after reviewing video evidence of the incident, admitted he’d got it wrong, while his claim for wrongful dismissal at Stark’s Park was upheld by the SFA’s judicial panel.

But, joking he was beginning to feel he couldn’t even burp on the pitch for fear of falling foul of the officials, the 30-year-old insisted that as frustrated as he was at those decisions, he’ll continue to play in the same way – with the full backing of boss Neil Lennon.

Bartley said: “I won’t change, nothing will change me. If I do I’d be worthless to the boys. I have to play the game I have played throughout my career. I’ve had two red cards but they have both been over-turned so I will go about it the way I 
always do.

“There’s always the thing about the guy who goes to court and is acquitted, only for 
people to say ‘he got away with it’ rather than accept he’s 
innocent and perhaps people will say I am lucky to get away with it again.

“But I’m not. They weren’t red cards. Anyone who has watched the incidents again knows I haven’t got away with anything. It shows I am not that type of player.

“It’s been a feeling of justice rather than relief because I knew they were not red cards.”

Lennon, who had claimed to be “gobsmacked” at Bartley’s latest sending off, revealed he hadn’t yet spoken to him about the outcome of his appeal, but added: “If I do then I’ll be 
telling him he’s in the team to be our powerhouse. Don’t change the way you play.

“He’s not a dirty player. He is very strong and plays the game the right way. He’s honest and there will be no change in his style – he is in our team to do a specific job.

“He can feel good about 
himself, he knows it wasn’t about him, it was just the wrong decision.”

However, Bartley believes referees should give themselves a few seconds to consider what they’ve seen rather than make a snap decision, believing he’d have avoided being sent off in each instance had the ref done so.

He said: “In the first one there was no contact. The referee sees my leg go out, their player goes into the air and the red card comes out. Last Saturday the card was out before I touched the floor. He’s thought it was a red card and for the life of me I can’t understand why. I was running, getting into my stride. Their player was 
running across me and I was trying to get out of his way. I’m on the floor and their player is calling me a diver.

“I thought the red card was for him, but then the ref said it was for me. I was distraught, there was a natural shock that it was shown to me.

“Then in the dressing-room shock turns to frustration and the more you think about it the more you begin to 
question yourself. You 
wonder, ‘did I stamp on him?’ even although you know you didn’t. You wonder because the man in the middle has sent you off.

“I know the ref the first time changed his mind. I don’t know this time, but I think if he saw it again he’d know he didn’t have much choice.”

Team-mate John McGinn also had a red card rescinded last season, the disciplinary tribunal ruling that referee Kevin Clancy had got it wrong, the players backed to the hilt by the Easter Road club.

Bartley said: “The club look at these incidents first and decide whether to appeal. It’s good to get them rescinded when the wrong decision has been made but you would rather have 11 men on the pitch rather than ten.

“I’d hope refs give themselves a bit more thinking time 
between tackle and red card.”

Bartley’s first red card came as Hibs led Ayr United 1-0, only for Lennon’s players to lose while the Easter Road side were left to play more than 50 minutes a man short against Raith which, naturally, leads to the feeling that those decisions have proved costly even if the Capital club do head the table at the end of the first quarter of the season.

Bartley said: “I am not saying 
if I was on the pitch we’d have won both games, but you have more chance of doing so if you have 11 men on the park rather than ten. I think it has cost us points and that’s really 

“We’re top and if the season finishes today we are champions but, obviously, we’d rather be points ahead than leading only by goal difference.”

Staying top is the objective tomorrow when Hibs make a second trip across the Forth in a week to take on Dunfermline at East End Park, Bartley insisting taking all three points is the objective – as well as him being on the pitch at the end of the game.

He said: “I’m delighted to be available if the gaffer picks me and if I do play I won’t be going out there worried. I’ll be playing my usual game as always.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4264138.1476981067!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4264138.1476981067!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs midfielder Marvin Bartley will be free to face Dunfermline tomorrow after his red card against Raith was downgraded to a yellow. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs midfielder Marvin Bartley will be free to face Dunfermline tomorrow after his red card against Raith was downgraded to a yellow. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4264138.1476981067!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/neil-lennon-rotherham-sacked-ex-hibs-boss-alan-stubbs-too-soon-1-4264045","id":"1.4264045","articleHeadline": "Neil Lennon: Rotherham sacked ex-Hibs boss Alan Stubbs too soon","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1477027836000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs boss Neil Lennon revealed he has “volumes of sympathy” for his Easter Road predecessor Alan Stubbs, sacked after just 14 matches in charge of English Championship side Rotherham United.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4264044.1476975702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Current Hibs head coach Neil Lennon has immense sympathy for his predecessor Alan Stubbs. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Stubbs took charge of The Millers only days after guiding Hibs to their first Scottish Cup triumph in 114 years, but was dismissed on Wednesday having just won just one game, leaving the Yorkshire outfit five points adrift at the bottom of the league.

But today Lennon insisted Rotherham chairman Tony Stewart had acted too hastily, adamant Stubbs hadn’t been given a chance to stamp his mark on his new club.

He said: “Alan goes in there after leaving a good legacy at Hibs and is given a three-year contract. Then after 14 games he is gone. I don’t understand it.

“What chance has he had to lay the foundations or alter the style of play? I realise it’s a results-driven business, but it’s not just Alan – it’s guys like Roberto di Matteo [at Aston Villa] or Paul Trollope [at 
Cardiff] who have gone even earlier. It’s just ridiculous.”

Lennon, who himself saw his move to Bolton Wanderers turn sour, firmly believes that given time Stubbs would have turned around the fortunes of a club which finished fourth bottom of the Championship last season.

He said: “Alan had every right to believe he would be given the time to get it right, he signed a three-year contract to build something, to change the club.

“People might say, ‘he’ll be 
alright, he’ll get paid up and get some money’, but that’s not the way he wants it. Like every manager he wants to work, it’s their career.

“But we live in an atmosphere in football where if it’s not fast food, instant results, then people turn on you quickly. There’s no patience.

“It’s a culture of panic and it’s not a good environment to work in. It becomes more stressful. You are analysed, day in, day out, through social media and fans’ forums and it all builds and builds. It snowballs so quickly when you are in that division.

“We’ll never know how it would have turned out, but I have a lot of sympathy for him and many other managers who have been the victim of that.

“Alan and his coaching staff [John Doolan and Andy Holden, his assistants, were also sacked] have sacrificed a lot.

“They have given up a life in Edinburgh at a good club – I can understand why they felt they needed to take that opportunity – to go to Yorkshire and now they need to start all over again.

“And where does it leave the players he has brought in. You go there perhaps on the back of seeing Alan as someone they want to work with.

“It isn’t good for the players, the club and certainly not for Alan and his coaching staff.”

Lennon believes club 
chairmen and their fellow 
directors should take a closer look at the part they play in such a situation.

He said: “You go in there with ideas and plans that, when they were interviewed, the chairmen 
and chief executives have 
supported. Then that support goes within three months.

“Maybe we should be looking 
at those people who hired the managers and say, ‘it’s you that got it wrong’. Where’s their 

“There’s none, because they are not in the public eye and don’t need to answer questions on a daily basis.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4264044.1476975702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4264044.1476975702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Current Hibs head coach Neil Lennon has immense sympathy for his predecessor Alan Stubbs. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Current Hibs head coach Neil Lennon has immense sympathy for his predecessor Alan Stubbs. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4264044.1476975702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-marvin-bartley-wins-appeal-against-raith-red-card-1-4263800","id":"1.4263800","articleHeadline": "Hibs’ Marvin Bartley wins appeal against Raith red card","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1476963099000 ,"articleLead": "

Marvin Bartley has won his appeal against the red card received in Hibs’ 0-0 draw with Raith Rovers last weekend.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4263799.1476963070!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs' Marvin Bartley walks off after receiving his red card at Starks' Park. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The midfielder was sent packing for an alleged off-the-ball incident with Raith winger Bobby Barr as the two tangled in the centre of the park.

After appeal, the altercation has now been reduced to a yellow card offence.

It’s the second time in the space of a month Bartley has had a red card rescinded after appeal. The 30-year-old was shown a straight red for lunging in late on Ayr United midfielder Jamie Adams. Likewise, that foul was later deemed to be only worthy of a yellow card after Hibs chose to appeal the decision.


" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4263799.1476963070!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4263799.1476963070!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs' Marvin Bartley walks off after receiving his red card at Starks' Park. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs' Marvin Bartley walks off after receiving his red card at Starks' Park. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4263799.1476963070!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-brian-graham-you-can-t-print-what-pars-fans-say-about-me-1-4262815","id":"1.4262815","articleHeadline": "Hibs’ Brian Graham: You can’t print what Pars fans say about me","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1476941454000 ,"articleLead": "

Brian Graham knows exactly the sort of reception he’ll get from Dunfermline fans on Saturday – and none of it will be printable.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4262813.1476952653!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Brian Graham. Picture: Jon Savage"} ,"articleBody": "

It may be more than three years since he played for Raith Rovers but, like supporters anywhere, those who follow the Pars have a long memory and will forever remain unforgiving to anyone who played for their big Fife rivals.

What doesn’t help, of course, is that in a much-travelled career, the 28-year-old has managed to score against Dumferline not only for Raith – where his one season reaped a remarkable 27 goals in 41 appearances – but Morton and Ross County.

However, Graham and his team-mates cross the Forth for the second weekend in succession giving scant regard as to which of Neil Lennon’s players may find the back of the net, their only concern being to end a winless run which, following the no-scoring draw at Stark’s Park, now stretches to five games in all competitions.

Remarkably, though, despite recent results, the point taken in Kirkcaldy saw Hibs return to the top of the Championship table. but Graham did concede they’d rather it was by virtue of something more than the three-goal difference which separates the Capital club from second-placed Queen of the South.

He said: “People might look at it and say ‘they’re having a bit of a blip’. Well, how many clubs have a blip and are still top of the league.

“We have to look at the positives, we went to Queen of the South and went down to ten men on a horrible, horrible day. At the end of the season that could prove to be a good point, the one at Raith could turn out to be a massive point.

“We know we could be top by more than goal difference but that’s the first quarter just finished. There’s a long way to go, it will be a long winter and we’ll see come January how the season is going to pan out I’d imagine.”

Graham believes the reason why such a fuss is being made of Hibs’ current difficulties following five straight league wins at the start of the season is simply down to the level of expectation at Easter Road.

He said: “We are in the position where every team wants to shoot us down and we need to be ready for that.

“The fans have high expectations and want to get back to the Premiership and the players are exactly the same. We just need to stick together and I believe we’ll get there.

“When I played with Raith every time we came up against a Rangers, Hearts or Hibs the whole team would get a lift and want to beat them. That’s the nature of the beast so we just have to be professional and get the job done.”

Hibs’ cause hasn’t been helped by the fact they’ve found themselves playing a man short in three of their last four Championship matches, midfielder Marvin Bartley picking up his second red card in the period while Lewis Stevenson was sent off at Palmerston Park.

The Easter Road outfit have appealed against referee Stephen Finnie’s decision and like everyone else at the club, Graham believes Bartley will see justice done and the red card rescinded as was the previous one shown as against Ayr United.

He said: “Last weekend was definitely frustrating particularly having looked back at Marvin’s red card. I don’t think there was much in it and even with ten men in the second half I thought the boys were brilliant. We never quite just created that chance to take us over the line.”

Graham, who watched the match from the bench before replacing fellow striker Grant Holt late on, said: “You are sitting there thinking ‘surely that can’t be another red card’.

“That’s just the way it seems to be going for us at the moment but it is a long, hard season and hopefully we’ll get the rub of the green going forward. We’ve had a couple of suspicious red cards, if ou want to put it that way, but we don’t want to dwell on it.

“The referee said Marv stamped on the Raith player’s groin, but I don’t think there was anything in it and hopefully the hearing will go our way.”

To anyone looking at the bald statistics, the perception may be that Hibs boss Lennon has something of a disciplinary problem on his hands – a suggestion met with an immediate rejection from Graham.

“I don’t worry about us getting a reputation at all,” he insisted. “We’re certainly not a dirty team and if you watch our games nine times out of ten it’s our boys taking a battering. But if the ref then gives us a red card, there’s nothing we can do about it.

“Marv wasn’t particularly happy on Saturday after the game, but we’ve had a laugh and a joke this week so he’s a wee bit more upbeat now and is hopeful of being available this Saturday.”

If, as hoped, Bartley enjoys another reprieve and is in Lennon’s plans, he can, at least, approach the game knowing Graham will be the one taking the heat from the home support.

The striker said: “I don’t 
get a particularly good reception. I’ve been back a few times and it’s been quite a lucky ground for me as I’ve scored few goals there. I don’t think you could print what they shout at me and I’m sure Saturday will be no different. Fans are good that way, they never forget, they have good memories. Raith are their big rivals in Fife to I know I’ll be getting a bit of stick.”

Graham admitted he hoped that flak would be well-merited with another goal although, he conceded, he’s found it difficult to pin down a starting place since moving from Ross County on a two-year contract in the summer.

He said: “It’s been a bit stop-start for me. I’ve not really had a consistent run in the team which is always what you are aiming for. However, you just have to keep working hard, we have a great squad and we know where we want to be.

“I’ll just keep chipping away, trying to be part of that and hopefully I’ll take my chance.”

Veteran striker Grant Holt is one reason why Graham has found it difficult, but he said: “Even though I’m 28 I can still learn from a guy like Grant. He’s great on the training ground and around the club.

“Grant has said someone is going to take a doing from us – and I think he is right.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4262813.1476952653!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4262813.1476952653!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Brian Graham. Picture: Jon Savage","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Brian Graham. Picture: Jon Savage","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4262813.1476952653!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4262814.1476952658!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4262814.1476952658!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Brian Graham scored against Dunfermline last season while playing for Ross County. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Brian Graham scored against Dunfermline last season while playing for Ross County. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4262814.1476952658!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-star-jason-cummings-can-still-hit-25-goals-this-term-1-4263130","id":"1.4263130","articleHeadline": "Hibs star Jason Cummings ‘can still hit 25 goals this term’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1476941453000 ,"articleLead": "

Tam McManus has backed Jason Cummings to get back among the goals after watching the Hibs striker fail to hit the back of the net for the fourth game in succession.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4263129.1476895774!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jason Cummings has failed to score in his last four games"} ,"articleBody": "

After eight goals in six matches at the start of the season, Cummings has hit a drought, finding himself on the receiving end of some stinging criticism from Easter Road boss Neil Lennon.

But former Hibs hitman McManus, who was at Stark’s Park last weekend to see Cummings fire a blank yet again in a no-scoring draw, insists the 21-year-old is still capable of claiming 25 Championship goals like he did last season.

Suggesting Saturday’s match against struggling Dunfermline could offer Cummings the ideal opportunity to hit the goal trail again, McManus said: “Jason has been a very important player for Hibs in the last 
couple of seasons but he is obviously going through a little dry spell at the minute.

“But, let me tell you, I went through far longer dry spells. I’ve seen the last two league games and he hasn’t had many chances. He didn’t get a sniff against Dundee United and then Marvin Bartley’s sending off at Raith Rovers makes it difficult. As a striker, it becomes more about working hard and tracking back to make up for having ten men.

“However, Jason is a goalscorer and once he finds the net he’ll be back on it. Four games without goal is nothing. You can’t put all the pressure on him, but he is the guy the Hibs supporters are looking to as their main man. Twenty five goals from him will win the league and I think he will still get there.”

McManus admitted every striker goes through a crisis of confidence when the goals dry up but, he insisted, it’s something they learn to handle the more experienced they become. He said: “When you go a certain amount of games without scoring, the goals seem to shrink.

“Jason just needs one goal to sort that out and, with the players Hibs have in behind him, the likes of James Keatings and John McGinn, they will create chances for him.

“Hibs go to Dunfermline on Saturday, they are struggling at the minute and it could be a good time for Jason to get back on the goal trail. He just needs one to come of his backside or a tap-in and you will see a different player all round.”

Cummings has shown his frustration at being substituted at times, something McManus revealed he can relate to, saying: “I look at some of the stuff Jason does on the pitch and I think ‘that just reminds me of me’. “I used to fall out with the world. I’d throw water bottles about and all that. I remember Bobby Williamson taking me off in one game and I had the same reaction. He got me into his office on the Monday morning and went through ten to 15 minutes of footage to show me why he taken me off and it was a case of ‘hands up, I can see why.’

“When you are young you have your ego. You want to stay on the pitch, you believe you can score, you want to get the winning goal and the headlines. Jason has done that plenty of times over the last couple of years.”

Although Lennon has made his unhappiness clear to Cummings, McManus pointed to the £1.7 million bid from Peterborough United turned down by Hibs in the summer as proof of what his manager thinks of him. He said: “To hear ‘we think you are worth more than that’ must have been brilliant for his confidence. Make no mistake, Neil Lennon rates Jason very highly otherwise he would have sold him.”

Although Hibs have stuttered recently, they have returned to the top of the Championship table and McManus fully expects them to win the title but not as quickly as he initially believed.

He said: “It hasn’t been as easy as I thought it would be. After winning the first five I thought they would have it won by Christmas and said so on Twitter. It’s one of those tweets that you know might come back to haunt you – but I still expect them to win the league.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4263129.1476895774!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4263129.1476895774!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jason Cummings has failed to score in his last four games","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jason Cummings has failed to score in his last four games","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4263129.1476895774!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4263152.1476895778!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4263152.1476895778!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tam McManus was speaking at Hibs' golf day at Archerfield Links. Pic: Jon Savage","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tam McManus was speaking at Hibs' golf day at Archerfield Links. Pic: Jon Savage","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4263152.1476895778!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/farid-el-alagui-hopes-he-ll-be-kissing-lucky-coin-against-hibs-1-4262932","id":"1.4262932","articleHeadline": "Farid El Alagui hopes he’ll be kissing lucky coin against Hibs","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1476941443000 ,"articleLead": "

It was a sight Hibs fans didn’t seen enough off, but one they’ll be hoping they don’t witness on Saturday, Dunfermline striker Farid El Alagui kissing his “lucky” coin.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4263492.1476953182!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "LUCKY COIN: Farid El Alagui. Picture: Michael Gillen"} ,"articleBody": "

The £1 coin, which the 
Bordeaux-born striker found on the Falkirk pitch before his first game in Scotland five years ago, has remained with him ever since and has been kissed every time he has scored a goal.

At each of his clubs since it has been entrusted to the care of a member of the backroom staff, initially coaches Lee Bullen and Stevie Crawford at Falkirk, then Brentford’s kitman Bob Oteng, Dundee United coach Darren Jackson, John Doolan, Hibs assistant head coach, and now the Pars physio Kenny Murray.

As El Alagui admits, Doolan didn’t have to reach into his pocket too often during two injury-racked seasons at Easter Road which brought just seven goals, four of them in his first five matches before a ruptured Achilles tendon all but brought his Hibs career to a shuddering halt.

Having started just one match in a green-and-white shirt last season, the 31-year-old wasn’t surprised to be released but, having signed a short term deal with Dunfermline, he’s desperate to make up for lost time.

Four goals in his past four games for Allan Johnston’s side would suggest he’s doing exactly that and having scored against the Bairns last weekend, he admitted he’d love to do the same when Hibs visit East End Park on Saturday.

But, he insisted, if that were to happen it would most certainly be a case of business before pleasure, believing whatever happens he’ll receive a warm welcome from the travelling support having been the subject of some boos from the Falkirk fans for whom he could once do no wrong.

“It was disappointing,” he admitted, “because I had a good relationship with them. It was only a minority, but that’s what happens in football. However, you know the game, it’s my job. I have to look after my family.

“I still live in Edinburgh so I get Hibs fans coming up to me, which is nice. I know I didn’t manage to play so many games, but that was down to the serious injury I suffered.

“But I think throughout they were with me, willing me to get fit and to play for Hibs again. They didn’t see as much of me as I would have liked, but I have many happy memories, scoring the goal which clinched the derby at Easter Road was, of course, something great to give the fans.

“It was also tremendous for them that the team won the Scottish Cup. I was on the open top bus the next day and while it was a fantastic experience to see what it mean to them, I felt as if I was just a passenger.

“Now I want to do my best for Dunfermline. I’ve had a few chances to use my lucky coin this season and hopefully I can do so again on Saturday.

“I know the Hibs fans won’t want that to happen, but it would be nothing personal.

“I suffered a potentially career-ending injury. Now I am just happy to be back playing.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4263492.1476953182!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4263492.1476953182!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "LUCKY COIN: Farid El Alagui. Picture: Michael Gillen","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "LUCKY COIN: Farid El Alagui. Picture: Michael Gillen","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4263492.1476953182!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/ex-hibs-boss-alan-stubbs-sacked-as-manager-of-rotherham-1-4262995","id":"1.4262995","articleHeadline": "Ex-Hibs boss Alan Stubbs sacked as manager of Rotherham","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1476887595000 ,"articleLead": "

Former Hibs boss Alan Stubbs was today sacked as manager of Rotherham United after the South Yorkshire club suffered a sixth straight defeat to leave them five points adrift at the foot of the English Championship.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4262994.1476888508!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alan Stubbs and Rotherham United have parted company. Pic: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Rotherham’s latest defeat came against fifth-placed Birmingham City last night, Stubbs’ side beaten 4-2, their ninth league loss in a season in which they have won just one game.

Today the club announced have parted company with Stubbs, assistant manager John Doolan and first team coach Andy Holden with immediate effect. Stubbs only won one out 14 matches with the Millers and leaves as statistically the club’s worst manager.

A statement on the club website read: “Following a board meeting this morning it was felt that a change of first team management was needed to give the club the best possible opportunity to preserve our Championship status.

“The club would like to place on record our thanks to Alan, John and Andy for their effort and professionalism, and we wish them well for the future.

“The board have now started the process of appointing a new first team manager. The club will be making no further comment at this stage.”

Stubbs surprised Hibs fans at the end of his second season in charge at Easter Road, quitting only days after guiding the Capital club to their first Scottish Cup success in 114 years.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4262994.1476888508!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4262994.1476888508!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Alan Stubbs and Rotherham United have parted company. Pic: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alan Stubbs and Rotherham United have parted company. Pic: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4262994.1476888508!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-return-to-profit-on-back-of-scottish-cup-triumph-1-4261753","id":"1.4261753","articleHeadline": "Hibs return to profit on back of Scottish Cup triumph","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1476853200000 ,"articleLead": "

Scottish Cup glory has put Hibs back in the black, the Easter Road club today revealing their Hampden triumph helped return them to profit after two years of making a loss.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4261752.1476799006!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Winning the Scottish Cup has helped Hibs make a profit. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Winning the trophy for the first time in 114 years, allied to reaching the final of the League Cup earlier in the season and the play-offs in the Championship, resulted in the Capital outfit’s turnover soaring by £1.4 million, allowing them to post a modest profit of £200,000 for the 11 months to June 30.

And, it was revealed, supporters now own almost one-third of their club, a share issue pumping £1.1m into the coffers which, chairman Rod Petrie said, had helped fund “a sporting ambition which has turned into sporting success”.

Details of Hibs’ financial standing were dropping through the letterboxes of shareholders this morning, the figures contained within them underlining the difference success on the pitch means for an operation of Hibs’ size – a Premiership club playing in the Championship, in Petrie’s estimation.

As turnover rose staff costs were also up, from £3.4m to £3.8m, partially as a result of taking the club’s hospitality business in-house, but the all-important wages-to-turnover ratio fell from 61 per cent to 54 per cent.

Despite being relegated to the second tier of Scottish football, the Easter Road board’s determination to maintain Hibs as a “Premiership club” had seen them lose £840,000 in the previous financial year after suffering a similar loss the year before, figures which serve to amplify the impact sporting success has on a football club’s finances.

Petrie also paid tribute to the part supporters have played in backing the club’s move to widen ownership by making new shares available to fans, an issue which, if fully subscribed, would see them hold a 51 per cent stake.

And, he revealed, supporters are already well on the way to achieving that figure.

He said: “The board asked supporters to help fund sporting success through the share issue. The club received a total of £1.1m in cash from supporters subscribing for new shares between February 2015 and June 2016. This undoubtedly contributed to the club’s ability to maintain a squad of players and a management team capable of reaching two cup finals.

“In doing that, the club faced Aberdeen, Dundee United (twice), Heart of Midlothian, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Ross County and St Johnstone from the Ladbrokes Premiership and overcame them all apart from Ross County at Hampden in March.

“At June 30, Hibs supporters owned 31.8 per cent of the club, up from 18.2 per cent as of July 31, 2015. Of this 23.6 per cent was held directly by 2400 supporter shareholders and 8.2 per cent was held by Hibernian Supporters Limited on behalf of its members.

“The success of the share issue is down to the commitment made by supporters of the club. The board has used those funds, as it said it would, to help fund sporting ambition. And that sporting ambition turned into sporting success.”

Hibs have moved to bring their financial year forward a month, aligning it with the sporting calendar given the new format of the League Cup, meaning it will start in July each year. As a result, the latest financial statements cover the 11 months to June 30 although, the club said, they would still have shown a small profit had it been for a full year.

Petrie said: “The financial statements show a robust financial position. The club had cash balances of £2.5m and no external debt. The cash balance is required to fund the annual working capital cycle and the loss anticipated from being a Premiership club in the Championship. Clearly that budgeted loss may be mitigated by further sporting success.”

Promotion at the third time of asking would obviously play a big part in doing so, as Petrie conceded. He said: “The sporting challenge now is promotion. Everyone at the club is focused on that. Almost 11,000 supporters have bought season tickets, the attendance at Easter Road for the first home league match of the season against Dunfermline was more than 16,000.”

“These are big numbers. The club needs this continued level of support to help fund a 
promotion season.”

In his letter to shareholders, Petrie spoke of the emotions felt as the final whistle sounded on the 3-2 victory over Rangers at Hampden on May 21, ending Hibs’ Scottish Cup hoodoo.

He said: “To say this was a momentous achievement for the club is a massive understatement given the anxiety and emotions which had pent up over the decades since previous wins.

“That was evident on the day at Hampden. Great joy and jubilation also was evident the next day and tens of thousands of supporters witnessed the open-top bus parade from the City Chamber to Leith Links.

“Who can look back on these events without a lump in their throat and a tear in their eye remembering all those who have gone before and who would have wished to share this achievement with us?”

The financial statements also disclose that the club’s tangible fixed assets (Easter Road and East Mains) were £24.3m.

Hibs’ annual general meeting will take place at Easter Road on Monday, November 7.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4261752.1476799006!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4261752.1476799006!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Winning the Scottish Cup has helped Hibs make a profit. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Winning the Scottish Cup has helped Hibs make a profit. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4261752.1476799006!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-defender-liam-fontaine-scores-on-return-from-injury-1-4261851","id":"1.4261851","articleHeadline": "Hibs defender Liam Fontaine scores on return from injury","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1476803168000 ,"articleLead": "

Liam Fontaine marked his return from injury by opening the scoring as Hibs development squad defeated Motherwell 3-0 at Airdrie this afternoon.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4261850.1476810191!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Liam Fontaine will be hoping to make the Hibs squad this weekend after an outing for the development squad. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

It was the 30-year-old’s first appearance since suffering a calf injury on the second day of the Championship season as Neil Lennon’s side defeated Dunfermline 2-1 at Easter Road on August 13.

The centre-back struck after 27 minutes, tapping home after a great run from Alex Harris, who then cut the ball back for Oli Shaw to score Hibs second four minutes from time before Fraser Murray added a third.

Fontaine played 63 minutes of the match before being replaced by James Gullan and will now be hoping to be part of Lennon’s plans for Saturday’s Championship match away to Dunfermline.

Hibs: Virtanen, Eardley, Porteous, Fontaine (Gullan 63), Crane, Stirling, Harris, S Martin, I Murray, Shaw, F Murray.

Click here for the latest Hibs results, fixtures and stats>>>

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4261850.1476810191!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4261850.1476810191!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Liam Fontaine will be hoping to make the Hibs squad this weekend after an outing for the development squad. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Liam Fontaine will be hoping to make the Hibs squad this weekend after an outing for the development squad. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4261850.1476810191!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/former-hibs-striker-dominique-malonga-struggling-in-serie-b-1-4260865","id":"1.4260865","articleHeadline": "Former Hibs striker Dominique Malonga struggling in Serie B","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1476768642000 ,"articleLead": "

Former Hibs striker Dominique Malonga has fallen out of favour with Italian Serie B club Pro Vercelli having not played a single game for them this season.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4260864.1476721897!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dominique Malonga hasn't featured for Pro Vercelli since last season"} ,"articleBody": "

The Congolese internationalist quit Easter Road in January for an undisclosed fee to return to Italy where he’d previously played for Torino, Foggia, Cesena and Vicenza.

He signed a two-and-a-half year deal and played 16 games last season scoring three goals. But the 27-year-old’s last match for Pro Vercelli was against Perugia in mid-May when he featured for just eight minutes of the match.

Malonga is said to be “troubled” by the situation having failed to appear again as the Piedmont club defeated Novara 2-1 at the weekend.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4260864.1476721897!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4260864.1476721897!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Dominique Malonga hasn't featured for Pro Vercelli since last season","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dominique Malonga hasn't featured for Pro Vercelli since last season","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4260864.1476721897!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}