{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"hibs","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/delighted-neil-lennon-says-hibs-deserve-place-in-betfred-cup-semis-1-4564688","id":"1.4564688","articleHeadline": "Delighted Neil Lennon says Hibs deserve place in Betfred Cup semis","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505858057000 ,"articleLead": "

Neil Lennon claimed Hibs thoroughly deserved their place in the semi-finals of the Betfred Cup despite having to twice come from behind to defeat Championship outfit Livingston.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4564687.1505858428!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Anthony Stokes strokes home the winning penalty for Hibs. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

An Anthony Stokes penalty just seven minutes from time clinched a fifth Hampden visit in just 18 months for the Capital side, but while he admitted it might have been nervous at times, Lennon praised the character of his players.

The Easter Road boss was adamant his side could have been three up before Alan Lithgow stunned the home fans as he glanced home Raffaele De Vita’s free-kick.

Danny Swanson cancelled out that strike with his first goal for Hibs, only for De Vita to fire Livingston ahead again.

Martin Boyle equalised for a second time and just as it looked as if the quarter-final was heading for extra-time on-loan Hearts player, Nikolay Todorov bundled Hibs defender Paul Hanlon over inside his own penalty area, with referee Bobby Madden having no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

When asked if he felt the main thing was that Hibs were through to next month’s semi-finals, Lennon replied: “I do not know what you mean. You do not think we played well?

“I thought we were excellent, from an attacking point of view, we could have scored three goals in the first ten minutes. We scored two beautiful goals.

“Their second goal was a great goal, we couldn’t go much about it the first one was poor from us, the first set-play. The character of the team was fantastic, you are looking at a very happy man. We are in the semi-final we got the win, created umpteen chances and we thoroughly deserved to win the game.

“It might have been a bit nervy at times, but I thought we had good control of the game for long spells.”

Lennon made four changes after letting rip at his players given the way they had surrendered a two goal lead against Motherwell at the weekend but, he insisted, the switches were only partly down to that.

“It was a bit of both,” he said. “I thought Danny was ready to play. I thought he was outstanding, his finish was brilliant. Dylan McGeouch was tremendous when he came on and that will do him the world of good.

“In the second half we were never in trouble. I was thinking of making another change and putting on another forward player just before we got the goal because we were working the ball into good areas the last little bit was letting us down but we got the penalty and Stokesy put it away brilliantly.”

Livingston boss David Hopkin was adamant the penalty was only one of a number of decision that he described as baffling by referee Madden and Lennon conceded he felt it was a call which might have gone either way.

He said: “I didn’t get a good view of it. David may say it was a bit soft and from where I was it could have gone either way, but defensively we looked very assured.”

Lennon’s joy was tempered, though, by the revelation skipper David Gray has been added to a growing injury list, with fellow defenders Darren McGregor and Liam Fontaine out having had surgery.

Gray limped off after just 13 minutes to be replaced by Steven Whittaker after he stretched to return the ball across the Livingston goal.

Lennon said: “He felt a twinge, hopefully it’s not going to be too bad. We will have to wait and see what the diagnosis is.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4564687.1505858428!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4564687.1505858428!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Anthony Stokes strokes home the winning penalty for Hibs. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Anthony Stokes strokes home the winning penalty for Hibs. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4564687.1505858428!/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-3-livingston-2-hibees-into-betfred-cup-semi-finals-1-4564648","id":"1.4564648","articleHeadline": "Hibs 3, Livingston 2: Hibees into Betfred Cup semi-finals","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505854197000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs scraped into the semi-finals of the Betfred Cup after being given a huge fright by Championship outfit Livingston, who twice took the lead at Easter Road.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4564647.1505854945!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Martin Boyle scores to make it 2-2 on a dramatic night at Easter Road. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

An Anthony Stokes penalty seven minutes from time sent the Capital side to Hampden for the fifth time in just 18 months, but the cheers on the final whistle were more in relief than glory, the home fans having been forced to live on their nerves for much of the game,

After a bright start from Hibs, Livingston stunned Neil Lennon’s players by taking the lead, ex-Hearts youth defender Alan Lithgow rising to glance home a superb header from Raffaele De Vita’s free-kick.

Danny Swanson’s first goal in a green-and-white shirt hauled Hibs level, only for De Vita to fire Livingston ahead. Again their lead was short-lived, man-of-the-match Martin Boyle drilling home a second equaliser.

And with extra-time looming, Hibs made their pressure tell, although they needed a helping hand from on-loan Hearts player Nikolay Todorov, the Bulgarian needlessly bundling Paul Hanlon over inside his own penalty area, leaving Stokes to convert from the spot and win the five-goal thriller.

Lennon’s response to the unacceptable half-hour he had witnessed as his side surrendered a two goal lead against Motherwell at the weekend was to make four changes to the starting line-up.

Both goalkeeper Ofir Marciano and Steven Whittaker, who were held responsible for the first of Louis Moult’s double, dropped to the bench, as did striker Simon Murray, top scorer but without a goal in his last four matches, and on-loan Manchester City kid Brandon Barker.

Drafted in to replace them were Ross Laidlaw for his first start of the season, Lewis Stevenson – after three games watching from the sidelines – midfielder Vykintas Slivka and Swanson.

Perhaps surprisingly following their 3-1 away win over Inverness Caley in the Championship on Saturday, Livingston boss David Hopkin made five changes. Out went Scott Robinson, Jackson Longridge, Josdh Mullin, Dylan Mackin and Danny Mullen. In came Nicky Cadden, Keaghan Jacobs, Matthew Knox, Dale Carrick and De Vita.

Lennon’s players certainly looked determined to make amends for the performance which had provoked such withering criticism from their manager, Stokes rising to meet David Gray’s cross only to see Neil Alexander get down well at his near post before the goalkeeper managed to bat away a powerful effort from Martin Boyle.

But that vulnerability the Easter Road outfit have shown at set pieces was exposed yet again as Livingston stunned the home fans into silence by taking the lead, Lithgow getting up to send a superb glancing header from De Vita’s free-kick high into the net beyond the clawing left hand of goalkeeper Laidlaw.

Hibs were dealt a further blow when skipper Gray limped off after only 13 minutes to be replaced by Whittaker, the right back having presumably injured himself stretching a few moments earlier for a Lewis Stevenson cross.

Stokes, as he had done for his second goal against Motherwell, reacted quickest to nick the ball off the toe of De Vita. But again Alexander, one of four in the Livingston line-up with a Hearts connection, brought off a great save, throwing himself to his right to push his shot aside.

The Capital side may have been thinking it was going to be one of those nights, but they got themselves level in the 18th minute, Whittaker finding the run of Boyle who cut the ball back for Swanson to guide high into the net with his right boot from 18 yards out.

Their relief, though, was short-lived, Efe Ambrose getting his head to Nicky Cadden’s cross as he went for it with Scott Pittman who was first to recover, quickly knocking the loose ball forward for De Vita who wasted no time in hammering in a shot off the underside of the bar with Laidlaw again helpless.

However, Livingston had no time to enjoy having taken the lead for a second time, Boyle hauling Hibs level again as he drilled a low shot across Alexander and into the far side of his net.

It had been a breathtaking opening 30 minutes or so with plenty for the fans to discuss during the interval although, one would imagine, Lennon wouldn’t have been overjoyed with what he had seen in terms of his side’s defending once again.

On the other hand, Hopkin would have been delighted with his team’s first half performance which had caused their Premiership hosts more than a few problems, their confidence having obviously grown with the realisation they were giving as good as they got.

Little had been seen of John McGinn during those opening 45 minutes but the midfielder cut onto his left foot to give Alexander his first test of the second half, the 39-year-old getting down to hold his low shot at his near post.

Hibs were continuing to enjoy the lion’s share of possession, but the home fans remained subdued as Lennon’s players struggled to make that advantage count as Hopkin threw on both Mullin and Danny Mullen to give his side extra energy for the closing stages.

Lennon made his own change, replacing Slivka with Dylan McGeouch as he sought to engineer a third goal for his side, Whittaker and Stokes both putting efforts wide.

Tempers were also beginning to fray, Stokes and Halkett spoken to by referee Bobby Madden, both sets of players well aware that as the minutes ticked away the next goal, should it come, could well prove to be the winner in what was the first League Cup meeting between these sides since Livingston defeated Hibs 2-0 to lift the trophy in 2004.

Livingston were having to rely more and more on trying to hit on the counter-attack as Hibs pressed forward, the Edinburgh side finally getting their reward when Todorov needlessly bundled Hanlon over inside his own penalty area.

The Bulgarian tried to plead his case, but Madden had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, leaving Stokes to step up and crack a low shot into the bottom right hand corner of Alexander’s net with the goalkeeper having gone the right way.

Hibs: Laidlaw; Gray (Whittaker 13), Ambrose, Hanlon, Stevenson; Bartley; Slivka (McGeouch 66), McGinn; Swanson (Barker); Boyle, Stokes. Subs not used: Marciano, Matulevicius, S Murray, Porteous.

Livingston: Alexander; Knox (Mullin 55), Halkett, Lithgow; Byrne; Todorov, Ke Jacobs (Mullen 62), Pittman, De Vita (Longridge 42), Cadden; Carrick. Subs not used: Maley, Mackin, Robinson, Brown.

Referee: B Madden

Attendance: 8535

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIEat Easter Road"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4564647.1505854945!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4564647.1505854945!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Martin Boyle scores to make it 2-2 on a dramatic night at Easter Road. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Martin Boyle scores to make it 2-2 on a dramatic night at Easter Road. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4564647.1505854945!/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-clear-the-air-after-picking-over-pieces-of-motherwell-game-1-4563639","id":"1.4563639","articleHeadline": "Hibs clear the air after picking over pieces of Motherwell game","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505799054000 ,"articleLead": "

Martin Boyle has insisted Hibs’ horror half hour against Motherwell as they surrendered a two goal lead is already a thing of the past after he and his team-mates held a heated post-mortem less than 24 hours later.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4563638.1505757461!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "16/09/17 LADBROKES PREMIERSHIP HIBERNIAN V MOTHERWELL EASTER ROAD - EDINBURGHLouis Moult, left, makes it 2-2 on Saturday"} ,"articleBody": "

Neil Lennon’s squad sat down to watch a video nasty highlighting exactly how all striker Anthony Stokes’ good work fell apart as the Steelmen were allowed to stage a stunning comeback, a brace from Louis Moult cancelling out the Republic of Ireland star’s earlier double.

As Stokes later admitted, Lennon’s players were ultimately happy to salvage a point before being subjected to a very public savaging by their furious boss who scathingly likened their efforts to those of an under-eight team.

The tongue lashing and subsequent sit down in the video analysis suite at East Mains may have caused more than a few to wince but, revealed Boyle, the players were every bit as angry as their 
manager.

“Were voices raised?,” he asked. “What do you think? It was a bit fiery at times but it was a conversation we needed to have. At this level if you make mistakes you get punished and that’s what happened. We can’t be sloppy again because if we are, we get hurt.”

Lennon has hung his players out to dry before, most notably following a 1-1 draw against Raith Rovers at Stark’s Park last season when he felt they had fallen well short of the standard required – and he didn’t spare their blushes.

It was a tactic which worked, provoking a stunning performance to knock Capital rivals Hearts out of the Scottish Cup just a few days later and one which he’ll hope is repeated in tonight’s Betfred Cup quarter-final against Livingston which carries the carrot of yet another Hampden outing at the end of next month.

Lennon’s approach, however, has attracted criticism in some quarters, the suggestion being that such matters should be kept within the confines of the dressing-room. But the Northern Irishman has countered by pointing out he was only giving voice to what 17,335 supporters had witnessed – hardly a secret.

However, as unwanted as his manager’s words might have been, Boyle was adamant no-one had been red faced by his straight talking.

“Are we embarrassed being criticised in public?” he asked. “No, definitely not because you can’t be embarrassed. We know ourselves being 2-0 up and not winning is not good enough at this club. If the manager is slaughtering us then we deserve it because we’ve obviously not done well enough. The gaffer is a winner, he brings that mentality with him and you have to meet those standards.

“He’s worked at the highest level and won’t accept not winning, he has every right to keep us on our toes. The gaffer said what he said to get a reaction, he has done it before and it worked. He doesn’t like doing it, but if it needs to be done he won’t shy away from it.”

In today’s game, with clubs utilising video analysis, there is no hiding place with every player’s performance subjected to scrutiny. But Boyle believes it is a welcome tool.

He said: “We’ve been through the Motherwell game on video; we’ve had chats about it and the manager has spoken to individuals about what we should be doing better. It was very constructive, it’s all about learning so it doesn’t happen again.

“The video analysis is helpful because sometimes you come away from a game thinking you did okay and it’s not until you see it back again you realise there were things you could have done much better.

“That’s what it’s there for, it’s handy for that. Every team does it these days and, like I said before, it’s about learning.”

Lennon revealed much of his anger came from simply not seeing that second-half collapse against Motherwell coming.

He said: “I shouldn’t get surprised in football but I was very annoyed by it.

“We have to do better. We played well at Dundee and St Johnstone. We played well for an hour against Motherwell but we go from there to there very quickly and that’s something we have to deal with.

“I was critical of the players because the last half hour was not good enough. I don’t know where it comes from. We seem to be going in the right direction and playing well and then: bang – a malaise sets in 
and we can’t lift ourselves out of it.

“We have analysed it. I don’t want to see it happen again, but if it does I want the players to be able to manage it better.”

Lennon insisted his players weren’t called in on Sunday as a punishment, adamant it was simply part of the preparations for tonight. He said: “I didn’t have them in on a day off. Even if we had won 5-0 they would still have been in because of tonight’s game.”

And he defended criticising his players in public as well as in the privacy of the dressing-room. “There’s no point me sugar coating it in the press because the Hibs public won’t have it, they know me better than that by now.

“It was already out there. I was only telling them what I am seeing – individual errors from players. It’s basics and I found it unacceptable and the players understand that.

“If there are bad moments in the game we need to manage them better. On Saturday, it was mistake after mistake. We didn’t manage the game as well as we should have with the quality and experience we have here.”

Lennon accepted that expectation was high among the Hibs support which brought an added pressure on his players.

“Maybe the expectation is high,” he said, “But this is a big club and when you are at a big club you have to live up to the expectations of the supporters, whether they are realistic or not.

“If you look at the team on Saturday, you’ve got Stokes, you’ve got [Steven] Whittaker, you’ve got [Efe] Ambrose who have all won the title three or four times and played in Europe, the Champions League, actually played in a Europa League final.

“Then I’ve got a goalkeeper [Ofir Marciano] who has played at international level. I’ve got players who have won the cup. I’ve got experienced players in that team and I want them to deal with it.

“I want them to deal with 15 minutes of pressure from the opposition better than we did. We’ve analysed it, dealt with it.

“Will I see it again? Maybe. But I am hoping we manage it a bit better than we did against Hamilton and Motherwell.

“It’s a psychological thing; it’s nothing to do with tactics, fitness or anything like that.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4563638.1505757461!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4563638.1505757461!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "16/09/17 LADBROKES PREMIERSHIP HIBERNIAN V MOTHERWELL EASTER ROAD - EDINBURGHLouis Moult, left, makes it 2-2 on Saturday","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "16/09/17 LADBROKES PREMIERSHIP HIBERNIAN V MOTHERWELL EASTER ROAD - EDINBURGHLouis Moult, left, makes it 2-2 on Saturday","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4563638.1505757461!/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-target-fifth-trip-to-hampden-in-18-months-1-4563653","id":"1.4563653","articleHeadline": "Hibs target fifth trip to Hampden in 18 months","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505799048000 ,"articleLead": "

Martin Boyle revealed that the chance of a fifth Hamdpen visit in just 18 months will drive him and his Easter Road team-mates on in tonight’s Betfred Cup quarter-final against Livingston.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4563652.1505758176!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Martin Boyle is excited at the prospect of reaching Hampden for a fifth time in just 18 months"} ,"articleBody": "

The national stadium has almost become a home from home from for Hibs in that period, the League Cup defeat by Ross County in the spring of 2016 followed by much happier memories of that historic Scottish Cup final victory over Rangers which was preceded by a dramatic semi-final penalty shoot out win against Dundee United.

Neil Lennon took them back to Hampden as they defended the cup, only to narrowly lose out to Aberdeen in last season’s semi-final, but Boyle knows a win over Championship Livingston will see them back there again at the end of next month and only 90 more minutes away from yet another trip along the M8.

He said: “If we get to Hampden for a fifth time in 18 momths then that would be great because you always want to play at your national stadium. We’ve been there a lot lately but nobody thinks it’s going to be easy because Livingston are in great form right now.

“It will be a tough task to get past them but our aim is to get back to Hampden. It has been enjoyable for us these last few years, we’ve been lucky with our cup runs and that’s what we have been aiming for because it’s our best chance of winning something.

“We have home advantage in this round so we will hopefully get a big crowd and make the most of it.”

Lennon’s players will see tonight’s match as a chance to redeem themselves after finding themselves taking severe criticism from their manager for the way in which they threw away a two-goal lead against Motherwell at the weekend, but while still unhappy with how they played in the last 30 minutes of that game, the Hibs boss says no-one should lose sight of the fact his side have lost just once this season.

And, like Boyle, he sees the League and Scottish Cups as the club’s best chance of silverware this season.

He said: “We’ve lost once and played well in 85 per cent of the games.

“But I have high standards. There is no point in setting out your stall for tenth or 11th place in the table, or mid-table. I want them to progress. We’ve got two cup competitions we can realistically do well in and this is one of them.

“We have to maximise that opportunity. This is a home tie against a team that are playing very well, but it’s not insurmountable. The pot at the end is a semi-final at Hampden which is a great thing to look forward to.

“Yes, it’s dangerous, but again I’m looking for a win. We’ll have to earn the right to do that and after Saturday I think the reaction should be positive.”

Lennon has no fresh injury concerns after the weekend, although midfielder Marvin Bartley has a stiff back and will be assessed ahead of the game, with fellow midfielders Dylan McGeouch and Vikintas Slivka expected to be fit having shaken off minor groin niggles.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4563652.1505758176!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4563652.1505758176!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Martin Boyle is excited at the prospect of reaching Hampden for a fifth time in just 18 months","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Martin Boyle is excited at the prospect of reaching Hampden for a fifth time in just 18 months","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4563652.1505758176!/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/hearts-hibs-christmas-derby-to-be-shown-live-as-tv-dates-revealed-1-4563486","id":"1.4563486","articleHeadline": "Hearts-Hibs Christmas derby to be shown live as TV dates revealed","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505748481000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs will have four televised matches in December, with three of them taking place in the space of just six days.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4563485.1505748680!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Marvin Bartley of Hibs and Hearts striker Esmael Goncalves will meet on December 27. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The second Edinburgh derby of the season – the first at a revamped Tynecastle – will still be on Wednesday, December 27, but now with a 7.45pm kick-off and will be shown on Sky Sports.

Prior to that Hibs will play Celtic at Easter Road on Sunday, December 10, kick-off 12.30pm; Rangers at home on Wednesday, December 13, starting at 7.45 pm, with both games being shown on Sky Sports.

And on Saturday, December 16, they will travel to face Aberdeen at Pittodrie for a 12.30pm start. The match will be screened live on BT Sport

Hearts’ home game against Celtic has been moved back 24 hours and will be played on Sunday, December 17 with a 12.30pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports. The match against Dundee on Wednesday, December 13 has also been put back 24 hours to Tuesday, December 12 to avoid a clash with the Hibs-Rangers match.

Sky Sports & BT Sport – December selections

Sunday 3 December, 2017

Ladbrokes Premiership

Aberdeen v Rangers

Live on Sky Sports, kick-off 12.30pm

Friday 8 December, 2017

Ladbrokes Premiership

Dundee v Aberdeen

Live on BT Sport, kick-off 7.45pm

Sunday 10 December, 2017

Ladbrokes Premiership

Hibs v Celtic

Live on Sky Sports, kick-off 12.30pm

Wednesday 13 December, 2017

Ladbrokes Premiership

Hibs v Rangers

Live on Sky Sports, kick-off 7.45pm

Saturday 16 December, 2017

Ladbrokes Premiership

Aberdeen v Hibs

Live on BT Sport, kick-off 12.30pm

Sunday 17 December, 2017

Ladbrokes Premiership

Hearts v Celtic

Live on Sky Sports, kick-off 12.30pm

Saturday 23 December, 2017

Ladbrokes Premiership

Kilmarnock v Rangers

Live on BT Sport, kick-off 12.30pm

Tuesday 26 December, 2017

Ladbrokes Premiership

Dundee v Celtic

Live on BT Sport, kick-off 12.30pm

Wednesday 27 December, 2017

Ladbrokes Premiership

Hearts v Hibernian

Live on Sky Sports, kick-off 7.45pm

Friday 29 December, 2017

Ladbrokes Championship

St Mirren v Dundee United

Live on BT Sport, kick-off 7.45pm

Saturday 30 December, 2017

Ladbrokes Premiership

Celtic v Rangers

Live on Sky Sports, kick-off 12 noon

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4563485.1505748680!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4563485.1505748680!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Marvin Bartley of Hibs and Hearts striker Esmael Goncalves will meet on December 27. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Marvin Bartley of Hibs and Hearts striker Esmael Goncalves will meet on December 27. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4563485.1505748680!/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-expects-reaction-from-hibs-players-against-livingston-1-4563351","id":"1.4563351","articleHeadline": "Neil Lennon expects ‘reaction’ from Hibs players against Livingston","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505742244000 ,"articleLead": "

Neil Lennon expects to see a reaction from his players as Hibernian prepare to take on Livingston in the Betfred Cup quarter-final.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4563349.1505742231!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Neil Lennon is hoping for a reaction from his players after the 'Jekyll and Hyde' performance against Motherwell. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

The Hibs boss was fuming with his side’s ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ performance against Motherwell on Saturday, when they gave up a two-goal lead as they were held 2-2 to make it three draws on the bounce.

They host Livingston on Tuesday night and Lennon made it clear he expects his players to bounce back in what he expects to be a tough game.

“Whenever we’ve had a disappointing or adverse performance, I’ve always had a decent bounce back from this group,” he said.

READ MORE - Hibs at crossroads after Motherwell’s second half fightback

“I like this group, but sometimes they throw one in from left field and you’re like ‘where does it come from?’

“You’re left scratching your head but it’s down to me to make sure it’s not a regular occurrence.

“Sometimes they’re Jekyll and Hyde, really good for long periods and then a malaise sets in and they can’t get themselves out of it.

“We need to rectify that or try and make it better.”

Lennon was openly critical of his players following the game, and admits it has coaxed improved performances out of his side before

He said: “I can’t sugar coat abject performances. I lambasted them after Raith Rovers last season and then we went and beat Hearts comfortably on the Wednesday night.

“Whether we get that type of reaction again, I don’t know.”

He added: “They know they let themselves down, they’re disappointed but we’re over it now and have a quarter-final to look forward to which is a big game in the context of the season.

“It is one we should approach in a positive manner whilst still respecting the opponent, because Livingston had another great win at the weekend.

“They’ve taken to the Championship very well and it’s a quarter-final so we have to be right at it.”

With Celtic clear favourites to retain their Premiership crown, Lennon is targeting cup success.

“It’s important for our club to get to the semi-final,” he said.

“There’s only two real opportunities [to win something], with the league maybe beyond us, there are two competitions we have done pretty well in in the last couple of years and I’d like to keep that going.”#

READ MORE - Neil Lennon to ring changes for Betfred Cup after Hibs collapse

Team news: Bartley faces late fitness test

Marvin Bartley is the only fresh concern for Lennon as he prepares his Hibernian side for their Betfred Cup quarter-final against Livingston.

The midfielder hurt his back in training on Monday, and will be assessed ahead of the game on Tuesday but is expected to be fit.

Central defenders Liam Fontaine (ankle) and Darren McGregor (knee) remain long-term absentees, while Lennon also admitted he is likely to shuffle the pack against the Ladbrokes Championship side.

Provisional squad: Marciano, Gray, Whittaker, Stevenson, Hanlon, Ambrose, McGeouch, Slivka, McGinn, Bartley, F Murray, Matulevicius, Swanson, S Murray, Stokes, Porteous, Barker, Laidlaw.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "WILL JACKSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4563349.1505742231!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4563349.1505742231!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Neil Lennon is hoping for a reaction from his players after the 'Jekyll and Hyde' performance against Motherwell. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Neil Lennon is hoping for a reaction from his players after the 'Jekyll and Hyde' performance against Motherwell. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4563349.1505742231!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4563350.1505742233!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4563350.1505742233!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Marvin Bartley challenges Motherwell's Andy Rose. The midfield enforcer faces a late fitness test ahead of Tuesday's match. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Marvin Bartley challenges Motherwell's Andy Rose. The midfield enforcer faces a late fitness test ahead of Tuesday's match. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4563350.1505742233!/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/our-region/edinburgh/edinburgh-united-the-plot-to-merge-hibs-and-hearts-1-4563317","id":"1.4563317","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh United? The plot to merge Hibs and Hearts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505740889000 ,"articleLead": "

ITALIA 90 was only four days away but the hopes and dreams for Andy Roxburgh and Scotland at the World Cup were forgotten by the news breaking from much closer to home.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4563316.1505740878!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Former Hearts owner Wallace Mercer launched the merger plot in 1990"} ,"articleBody": "

A sense of incredulity, of disbelief, met the revelation that Hearts owner Wallace Mercer had launched an audacious 6.2 million bid to take over Capital rivals Hibs, his Utopian dream to create an Edinburgh side capable of toppling the Old Firm.

But it was also a move which would, if successful, mean the end for the Easter Road club.

Although it created an immediate shockwave which ripped not just through Edinburgh but the entire country, the bombshell news was the result of five months of clandestine plotting, a cloak-and-dagger operation which could have come straight from the pages of a spy novel.

In the shadows, the plotters spoke in code as they planned to create a new company, Edinburgh United, defined as “Diamond” while Hearts were referred to as “Ruby” and Hibs “Emerald”.

Little did managing director Jim Gray, brother-in-law of Hibs chairman David Duff, and Allan Munro, a fellow director, imagine what was in store as they flew to London, summoned to a hastily-arranged board meeting at the Soho headquarters of Inoco, an international property company owned by David Rowland, the biggest shareholder in the club’s parent company Edinburgh Hibernian plc.

What they did know was that Rowland, a Monaco-based businessman, had decided to sell his 29.9 per cent stake in the club’s parent company, Edinburgh Hibernian plc, and they were to meet the buyer.

As they chatted on their flight south Gray and Munro mused on who the mystery man might be, settling on Robert Maxwell, the controversial newspaper magnate and owner of Oxford United, only to be stunned when Duff, who had been asked into the boardroom, returned to tell them it was Wallace Mercer.

The Tynecastle chairman’s plan, as he put it to his stunned audience, was to combine the clubs, to play in a new stadium to be built on land owned by Rangers chairman David Murray at Hermiston on the city outskirts and to challenge the West of Scotland’s football supremacy.

However, a necessary part of the transition would be the closure of Hibs before the next season and the sale of Easter Road, an unpalatable prerequisite and one which immediately split Edinburgh.

Gray immediately told Mercer: “This could be your biggest mistake, it will never work.”

Dinner at the nearby Hilton Hotel followed with Mercer, said to be in an exuberant and loquacious mood, picked up the 341 bill, the wine having flowed freely, – and the following morning Scotland awoke to the shattering news.

The Stock Market was told: “Hearts have received an irrevocable undertaking from David Rowland’s company Inoco plc to accept their 40p per share offer which values Hibs at more than 6m if the Scottish League approves the deal.

“Hearts believe this is a very generous offer given the financial and share price performance. Hearts are in discussion with the Hibs board with the hope that this will lead to a recommendation of the offer.

“Hearts are convinced that advantages will accrue to both themselves and Hibs and to Scottish football, locally, nationally and internationally from the bringing together of Edinburgh’s two Premier Division clubs.”

For their part the Hibs board – which was later to vote 4-2 against the move, Duff, Gray, Munro and Rowland’s first wife Sheila saying “no” while Rowland and his associate Jeremy James said “yes” – were bound by market regulations to say nothing, much as they wanted to voice their opposition. One source close to the action at the time said: “I think the fans were confused, they were wondering why the directors were not screaming what they were screaming.

“But they had to be professional and, I think, the press began to understand that certain things had to happen in a certain order.”

Like the vast majority of Hibs supporters, Tom O’Malley, who would later become chairman of the club, greeted Mercer’s announcement with a scepticism which quickly turned to anger.

Then head teacher of St David’s RC High School at Dalkeith, O’Malley recalled: “We did not know the fine details of the bid at that point, we didn’t know whether it was to be a merger or total extinction.

“It soon became clear it meant the effective elimination of Hibernian Football Club from the Scottish football map. “Mobile phones weren’t so much in evidence then but the lines were on fire with everyone trying to find out the latest, the most up-to-date news.”

O’Malley’s story was repeated throughout Edinburgh as stunned Hibs fans slowly but surely came to grips with the realisation that the very future of their club was under dire threat.

Gary Joyce, a lifelong fan and then a post office worker, said: “We didn’t need mobile phones – not that there were many about in those days – the news spread like wildfire. I have to admit my first reaction was that it can’t happen, it won’t happen.

“I honestly felt it would last for three or four days and then blow over, I didn’t think it would come to anything. But you then started to realise how serious it was.”

Fans descended upon both Easter Road and the Hibs Supporters Association clubrooms at Sunnyside in their droves, desperate for information which remained sketchy – but it soon became evident that Mercer’s hope of a swift coup wouldn’t be realised.

Very quickly an action group, Hands off Hibs, was formed with former club chairman Kenny McLean at its head. His son, Kenny McLean jnr, recalled those hours of chaos and confusion. He said: “I was actually made aware of what Mercer was doing by Stewart Brown, the Evening News football writer who lived round the corner from me. He told me Mercer was trying to shut Hibs down.

“At first I thought it was a joke but I phoned my dad and went down to the Supporters Association.

“It was chaos, the place was besieged by supporters desperate to know what was going on. We then went round to the ground itself and there were literally thousands there, it was a very volatile atmosphere, everyone was very angry.

“It was a shambles, people trying to get in and the police pulling them back.”

According to McLean the police were anxious to have the crowd placated, the fear being they might otherwise have a riot on their hands. Naturally it was Duff they wanted but McLean snr addressed the supporters, telling them that as far as he was aware Mercer had 60 per cent of the shares but needed 76 per cent to succeed.

McLean jnr said: “Duff came out, he was surrounded by police and shaking but he got up on a chair and said there and then, if I recall correctly, he would not sell his shares. I believe he was later put under severe pressure to sell but, to be fair to him, he held on to them.”

Duff’s determination not to sell – the chairman telling a leading member of Hands off Hibs “I’ve been stitched up” – proved to be a major stumbling block for Mercer but before then a short but fierce and, at times highly acrimonious, battle was fought both publicly and behind the scenes before Easter Road fans could rest assured their club wouldn’t fall into the hands of the Hearts chairman.

While Hibs fans reacted with fury to the threat Wallace Mercer’s takeover bid posed to their club, the Easter Road players themselves became increasingly worried about their own futures.

As the news broke between seasons, Alex Miller’s players were as much in the dark as anyone else, reliant on newspapers and television to keep them up-to-date with the fast-moving story.

Naturally, the players began inundating their union, the Scottish Football Players’ Association, desperate for answers as the then secretary, former Hibs star Tony Higgins revealed. He said at the time: “I can assure you it is not a pleasant thing listening to a lot of anxious players on the phone, all worrying about their future.

“There are some who have just signed new contracts and they are wondering who will honour them – or if they will be honoured.”

The fears of Graham Mitchell, the SFPA’s representative at Easter Road at the time, summed up the anxiety felt within the Hibs dressing-room with the knowledge that, between them, the Capital clubs had 64 registered players on their books.

He said: “To be honest, when I first heard about it I felt it was a wind-up, that it wasn’t going to happen. But after the initial couple of days you realised this was pretty serious, that it could happen and, when you look back, it came very close to happening. Usually at a football club, and it remains the same today, what happens in the boardroom is kept away from the players. A change of manager can, of course, cause some uncertainty but players know they have contracts.

“But this was different. It was Hearts trying to takeover Hibs so what was going to happen to the players at our club? Would any of us be kept on rather than the players already at Hearts, what would happen to our contracts?

“It was the same with Alex Miller. There could only be one manager and, to be honest, you couldn’t see it being the manager of Hibs.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4563316.1505740878!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4563316.1505740878!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Former Hearts owner Wallace Mercer launched the merger plot in 1990","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Former Hearts owner Wallace Mercer launched the merger plot in 1990","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4563316.1505740878!/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-hibs-need-to-cut-out-slack-nature-1-4562630","id":"1.4562630","articleHeadline": "Michael Weir: Hibs need to cut out slack nature","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505712651000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs are learning the hard way about how unforgiving the Premiership can be compared to the Championship.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4562629.1505663544!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul Hanlon and John McGinn show their dejection after the 2-2 draw with Motherwell. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The previous weekend, we lost a goal from St Johnstone’s only clear chance of the game, and then against Motherwell on Saturday we found that good teams won’t roll over and give up even when they go 2-0 down away from home.

To go 2-0 up at home, you’d expect us to be strong enough to see the game out, but we basically threw it away. We lost some terrible goals.

We’re simply not going to get away with the same slackness that might have gone unpunished a lot of the time in the Championship. There is a clear gulf in quality between the teams we’re playing against now and the teams we were playing last season. One mistake and you’re punished in this division. We’ve got to start showing that we’re mentally equipped to handle that going forward.

I can understand why the manager’s so angry because we’d put ourselves in such a strong position to get three points on Saturday. He sets high standards for the club and the players, so he’s perfectly entitled to be critical after squandering a great chance of victory like we did.

We seemed to have an early-season buzz about us and won our first two games really well against Partick Thistle and Rangers, but we’ve not capitalised on our strong start. We’ve generally been playing well enough, but I would rather we weren’t playing well and winning games.

We need to make sure we get a win against Livingston in the Betfred Cup tomorrow. It’s a good game for the players to have because they’ll be desperate to get Saturday’s match out of their system. Reaching another semi-final would go a long way to lifting the gloom from the way the weekend’s match ended but it won’t be easy because Livingston are going well in the Championship. If we take victory for granted, we’ll get punished.

We’ve still not had a clean sheet in the league and that’s a concern because I really thought we’d be strong defensively. We’ve got a good defensive unit on paper, but we’re not looking particularly secure at the moment. Neil Lennon will be disappointed by that because his teams are usually based on having a strong backline. We need to wise up quickly.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4562629.1505663544!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4562629.1505663544!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Paul Hanlon and John McGinn show their dejection after the 2-2 draw with Motherwell. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul Hanlon and John McGinn show their dejection after the 2-2 draw with Motherwell. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4562629.1505663544!/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/anthony-stokes-hibs-lost-grip-on-motherwell-game-1-4562593","id":"1.4562593","articleHeadline": "Anthony Stokes: Hibs lost grip on Motherwell game","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505712625000 ,"articleLead": "

Anthony Stokes has admitted Hibs were happy to hold on for a draw against Motherwell after throwing away a two-goal lead.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4562592.1505658663!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Anthony Stokes scored twice for Hibs against Motherwell. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

A double from the striker, a first-half penalty followed by an opportunistic shot minutes after the interval, appeared to have put the Easter Road side on the road to victory but, to the fury of boss Neil Lennon, they allowed Motherwell back into the game with Louis Moult scoring twice to leave Hibs with a third successive draw in the Premiership.

Conceding that he and his team-mates had simply lost their grip on the game, Stokes said: “We put ourselves in a great position but we stopped playing and, at he end, we were probably happy just to hold on.

“We’re disappointed and frustrated because it’s probably been the case over the last few games, we’ve been playing well and not getting the three points.

“Even when it went 2-0 there are still 25 minutes to go at least. If you want to kill it off you needed to get to 3-0, otherwise they score and pick up the momentum. That’s what happens sometimes. I don’t think we dealt with it very well.”

Stokes admitted Lennon’s players need to learn how to close out games when they find themselves in a winning position, but insisted the Easter Road squad has what it takes, saying: “The quality is there.

“If you look back at the last three games, we’ve dominated them. For 60 minutes we dominated Motherwell, It’s probably just a bit of inexperience here and there. I don’t know, it can happen sometimes. You lose grip of a game, it’s just small details.

“I think towards the end we could have played a few more channel balls, played them up the pitch because we were dropping deeper and deeper. But it’s easier said after the game. In the heat of the moment, when they had their tails up and we were probably lucky not to concede another one.

“We pressed a bit and picked up, but after they got their first goal there was a spell when we just did not cope with the game.”

And that, declared Stokes, was where Lennon’s players need to step up, saying: “I think it’s everyone’s responsibility. Everyone on the pitch has to respond to how the game is going.

“It’s not always going to be free-flowing football where we can pop it about. If you’ve watched us from the start of the season that’s what we want to do. We want to get teams hemmed in and then try to break they down with our football.

“But we just need to scrap it out a bit better, maybe be a bit more physical. Not nastier, just seeing out games playing dogged football – put it in the corner sometimes, just get us up the pitch.”
Another big Easter Road crowd of 17,335 departed unhappy just as they had after Hibs previous home game, an even more disappointing defeat by Hamilton and, agreed Stokes, they rightly hold big expectations.

He said: “We’ve come up as a newly-promoted team and drawn the last three games. But look at the squad, the players the manager has brought in. That has created expectation off the back of winning silverware last season and the Scottish Cup the year before.

“The club is definitely on the up. It’s down to us to entertain the fans, put points on the board and win games.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4562592.1505658663!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4562592.1505658663!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Anthony Stokes scored twice for Hibs against Motherwell. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Anthony Stokes scored twice for Hibs against Motherwell. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4562592.1505658663!/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-reaction-neil-lennon-lambasts-lack-of-mental-strength-1-4562605","id":"1.4562605","articleHeadline": "Hibs reaction: Neil Lennon lambasts lack of mental strength","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505712612000 ,"articleLead": "

Although, ultimately, Hibs took the Championship title with some degree of comfort, an astonishing 14 draws in their 36 matches kept the chasing pack interested until the closing weeks of the season.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4562604.1505663505!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Hibs defenders react as Lewis Moult celebrates after scoring his second goal. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Boss Neil Lennon agreed his team’s inability to turn a fair proportion of those stalemates into victories wasn’t good enough, and today he is faced with the same scenario, Hibs having drawn their last three matches when they could have been making an early impact in the top half of the Premiership.

Sometimes, of course, a point can be regarded as a reasonable return and, in a strange way, that was the case on this occasion, even if the home team could be accused of throwing away a two-goal lead.

Those strikes, a contentious first-half penalty from Anthony Stokes and an opportunistic effort from the Republic of Ireland internationalist, had put Hibs ahead for the first time this season and, seemingly, on course for a win despite looking far from comfortable throughout the match.

It was a vulnerability which Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson sensed, telling his players at half-time that even though they were trailing, they hadn’t done much wrong.

Robinson said: “There wasn’t a lot I needed to say to encourage them because they felt they were still in the game. Even at 2-0 down they didn’t stop believing.”

And when you have Louis Moult in your side there is, as Motherwell skipper Carl McHugh insisted, no reason to give up, the midfielder saying: “He’s priceless, he could have had four goals.”

Two goals were enough to salvage a point for Motherwell and to prevent Hibs leapfrogging them in the table. Moult, who had seen a first-half effort crash back off the crossbar, stealing in to nod home Craig Tanner’s free-kick and then rolling Efe Ambrose to drill a low shot beyond goalkeeper Ofir Marciano to make it five in his last four games and seven for the season.

Only some desperate defending ensured all three points weren’t surrendered as Lennon’s players all but fell out of the game entirely.

Lennon left them in no doubt as to how he felt, awarding only Stokes, John McGinn and Brandon Barker pass marks as he turned his ire on his back four and Marciano although, he insisted, there were others who needed to reproduce the form they show in training when it matters.

“It’s a total lack of mental strength,” claimed Lennon. “Ambrose and [Paul] Hanlon are experienced players at this level but they didn’t look it today. Neither did my two full-backs.

“You can have all the ability in the world, you can be good trainers – and I’m not just singling out my back four. I’ve got some players who look really good in training, but can’t replicate it in games.

“It’s not a major problem. It’s not an ordeal we are going through. We haven’t won in four games but we are scoring goals. We just need to do better defensively as a unit.

“I don’t think we looked comfortable defensively all day. That’s something the players will have to get to grips with because it’s a physical league at times.

“I don’t think Motherwell are overly physical. They are decent, but they’ve got good spirit about them and they’ve got good strikers.

“We should be more than capable of going 2-0 up and winning the game. You only have to keep a clean sheet. I repeatedly tell them about defending set plays properly and we haven’t done it.

“But they need a hand from the goalkeeper now and again and that was missing.”

Israeli internationalist Marciano, who looked uncertain throughout the game, was particularly culpable for the first goal insisted Lennon, who said: “It was pathetic.

“The fact that Moult is free for a start – but my goalkeeper has to come and take it. He’s three yards out and he turns his back on it, so I am not happy.

“The second goal is embarrassing in terms of people diving in, giving themselves up, getting rolled and then my goalkeeper gets beaten at his near post.

“But it was coming, we were asking for it. We gave them all the warnings, we told them at half-time. If they are not big enough to take responsibility on the pitch then I’ll have to change it – and I will.”

In that regard, however, Lennon finds his hands tied. Both Darren McGregor and Liam Fontaine have undergone surgery, leaving only 18-year-old Ryan Porteous as cover in central defence, although he does have the option of restoring the solid and dependable Lewis Stevenson at left-back where Whittaker looks out of place. Given his stinging criticism of Marciano, few would be surprised if back-up keeper Ross Laidlaw is given an opportunity in tomorrow night’s Betfred Cup tie against Livingston.

And Stokes said that quarter-final was the ideal opportunity to provide Lennon and the fans with the reaction they’ll be looking for.

He said: “We respond by winning the next game. We win that and we are back at Hampden again. So we need to get the Motherwell game out of our minds, while learning from it, and move swiftly on to that game.”

And having worked under Lennon at Celtic, Stokes admitted he was well aware of exactly how his boss was feeling.

He said: “He has high expectations, he wants to win games. It must be so frustrating for him sitting there and watching us let a game get away from us. I had felt we were fully in control, you would like to think we could see it out.

“We put ourselves in a great position and then just lost grip of the game. We can’t dwell on it too long – but we need to learn from it.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4562604.1505663505!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4562604.1505663505!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Hibs defenders react as Lewis Moult celebrates after scoring his second goal. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Hibs defenders react as Lewis Moult celebrates after scoring his second goal. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4562604.1505663505!/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-2-2-motherwell-hibees-blow-two-goal-lead-1-4562050","id":"1.4562050","articleHeadline": "Hibs 2 - 2 Motherwell: Hibees blow two-goal lead","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505578146000 ,"articleLead": "

Anthony Stokes’ double was cancelled out by Louis Moult’s brace as Motherwell came from two down to seal a Ladbrokes Premiership point at Easter Road.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4562049.1505578137!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibernian's John McGinn is tackled by Motherwell's Carl McHugh. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Hibs fans hit out at board over EBT review decision

Stokes put the home side in front, netting a 21st-minute penalty before capitalising on some slack defending to put Hibernian well in command 12 minutes into the second half.

But Moult - who earlier hit the woodwork - headed Motherwell back in the game and made it 2-2 with an impressive strike 10 minutes later.

The visitors threatened to complete the comeback but Hibs composed themselves.

Hibs had looked more threatening in the opening stages with Brandon Barker making good progress down the left wing, and Simon Murray shot wide of the near post from John McGinn’s low cross.

The hosts had a strong penalty claim when Carl McHugh appeared to clip Stokes’ heels but Barry Cook played on.

Cook took action when Motherwell had an appeal five minutes later but only to book Richard Tait for diving after he went down theatrically, although footage appeared to show Marvin Bartley catching his foot.

Boyle soon got goal-side of Dunne following McGinn’s pass inside the defender and the winger went down. Cook pointed to the spot and Moult was booked for dissent as the visitors argued there was no contact. Stokes stroked the ball down the middle of the goal as Trevor Carson threw himself to his right.

Moult missed a good chance to level when he headed well over after Chris Cadden’s corner found him unmarked at the back post, before Stokes headed over from six yards following Barker’s cross.

Motherwell continued to make chances before the break and Moult hit the junction of the bar and post after a one-two with Andy Rose. Ryan Bowman screwed wide from Cadden’s cross and Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano looked uncomfortable at some more Cadden corners.

The visitors shot themselves in the foot 10 minutes into the second half. Cedric Kipre did the hard part well by stopping Barker’s dangerous burst following a one-two with Stokes, but he dithered on the ball 15 yards from goal and was dispossessed by Stokes, who stabbed the ball into the top corner.

Motherwell were back in it seven minutes later when Moult converted Craig Tanner’s free-kick from close range and the substitute set up Bowman moments later but Steven Whittaker twice blocked.

Another sub, Gael Bigirimana, then opened up play on the edge of the Hibs box to feed Moult, although the striker had plenty to do. He did it in style, turning and creating space to drive home his seventh goal of the season from 20 yards.

Bowman had a header saved as Hibs continued to flounder but they got a grip of the game and Stokes went close from a free-kick.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Gavin McCafferty"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4562049.1505578137!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4562049.1505578137!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibernian's John McGinn is tackled by Motherwell's Carl McHugh. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibernian's John McGinn is tackled by Motherwell's Carl McHugh. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4562049.1505578137!/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-fans-hit-out-at-board-over-ebt-review-decision-1-4562021","id":"1.4562021","articleHeadline": "Hibs fans hit out at board over EBT review decision","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505576771000 ,"articleLead": "

A group of Hibs fans unveiled a banner hitting out at the club’s board for their decision regarding an independent review into the handling of Rangers’ use of EBTs.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4562020.1505576762!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibernian fans unveil banner aimed at the club. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Hibs explain backing of SFA decision on Rangers tax case

The club released a statement on Monday stating they “do not support the letter from the SPFL calling for a further independent review”.

The board discussed the matter at successive board meetings and came to a “unanimous” view on the position, preferring to focus “on a brighter future for Hibernian, and for the game”.

However, the position has not gone down well with a section of the Hibs support.

During the club’s Ladbrokes Premiership encounter with Motherwell fans brought out banners which read: “13,000 season tickets. Zero opinions heard. “Unanimous”?”

• READ MORE: Poll: Should there be an independent review of the SFA?

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANGUS WRIGHT"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4562020.1505576762!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4562020.1505576762!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibernian fans unveil banner aimed at the club. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibernian fans unveil banner aimed at the club. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4562020.1505576762!/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-losing-liam-fontaine-is-real-blow-for-hibs-1-4561384","id":"1.4561384","articleHeadline": "Neil Lennon: Losing Liam Fontaine is ‘real blow’ for Hibs","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505539846000 ,"articleLead": "

Head coach Neil Lennon has admitted that Hibs have suffered a “real blow” with the news that Liam Fontaine is out for three months with an ankle injury.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4561383.1505483796!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Liam Fontaine is out for three months with an ankle injury. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The 31-year-old defender sustained what was initially deemed a minor injury in a development league match against Aberdeen a week past Tuesday and subsequently missed the first-team’s 1-1 draw at St Johnstone last weekend.

Neil Lennon had been hopeful of welcoming Fontaine back for today’s home game against Motherwell, but scans this week have shown that the problem is more serious than anticipated and similar to the one that ended the former Bristol City player’s season prematurely in February. The centre-back is expected to be unavailable until December.

“We’ve had a real blow with Liam,” said Lennon. “He’s had a scan and he’s going to require surgery. It’s come well out of the blue because it looked innocuous but the ligament has come away from the bone. It’s quite similar to the injury he had last season. He needs surgery and he will be out for eight to 12 weeks.”

Although Fontaine has remained an unused substitute for most of the season so far, his absence will be more keenly felt since it coincides with a period when Darren McGregor is also sidelined until well into next month. Paul Hanlon, Efe Ambrose and 18-year-old Ryan Porteous are now the only fit centre-backs, but Lennon currently has no plans to bring a free agent in to provide cover.

“Darren had his surgery on Monday and he will be out four to six weeks,” said the manager. “I can’t afford any more injuries at centre-half. That was a real blow losing Liam. I won’t look at getting anyone in. It’s a position we’re well covered in. We are well stocked so I am not looking elsewhere unless something drastic happens.”

Lennon also confirmed there have been no developments with regard to the possibility of bringing former Celtic attacker Kris Commons back to Hibs. The 34-year-old, who has been working as a pundit since leaving Parkhead in the summer, had a fruitful month on loan at Easter Road last winter, and a return to the Capital has been mooted in the event that he can rediscover an adequate level of fitness in the coming months following a back operation in the summer.

“I don’t know where he is at the moment,” said Lennon. “You guys (in the media) probably see him more than me. He’s still recovering from surgery and I’ve not spoken to him. Until he feels up to training I’ve nothing to say on that.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4561383.1505483796!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4561383.1505483796!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Liam Fontaine is out for three months with an ankle injury. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Liam Fontaine is out for three months with an ankle injury. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4561383.1505483796!/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/nobody-safe-in-hibs-team-right-now-says-captain-david-gray-1-4561485","id":"1.4561485","articleHeadline": "Nobody safe in Hibs team right now, says captain David Gray","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505539806000 ,"articleLead": "

David Gray explained that the Hibs squad is now so strong that nobody’s place is safe.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4561484.1505488242!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David Gray had to sit out two games this season because Steven Whittaker took his place"} ,"articleBody": "

The captain is one of several mainstays from the past few seasons who has found himself on the bench this term, with Lewis Stevenson, Dylan McGeouch and Liam Fontaine among this number.

In addition, Lithuanian internationalists Vykintas Slivka and Deivydas Matulevicius and former St Johnstone talisman Danny Swanson have also spent time on the substitutes’ bench in recent weeks.

Gray insists this is testament to the strength of Neil Lennon’s squad and is a situation being viewed in a positive light by the players, who are all striving to ensure they are in the starting XI each week.

“I think it can only be a good thing,” said Gray. “It’s the old cliche about the manager having a headache but I’m sure it’s one he’s enjoying. There’s real strength in depth right across the board and that’s showing in training every day. The level is through the roof because everyone’s fighting for positions.

“It’s a long season and there’s going to be injuries and suspensions. Everybody knows they’re going to be required at some point – it’s just about the boys in the team doing as well as they can to stay in, and if you’re not involved, working as hard as you can so you’re ready when called upon.”

Gray was suspended for the opening Premiership match of the season against Partick Thistle and, with summer signing Steven Whittaker impressing in his absence in the 3-1 win over the Jags, the Scottish Cup-winning skipper had to sit out the next two games against Rangers and Hamilton Accies. Gray has reclaimed his place in the side for the last two games, with Whittaker instead moving across to left-back and taking the place of Stevenson in back-to-back 1-1 draws away to Dundee and St Johnstone.

“Being suspended for the first game of the season and then when the lads won, that’s football,” said Gray, reflecting on his early-season omission. “The lads played really, really well and I fully understood that if they kept playing the way they were playing for the full season I wouldn’t be playing this season.

“That’s just the way it goes. I had to be patient, I had to continue to work as hard as I could in training, knowing that if something came up or there was an injury or the manager asked me to play I would be ready to play. I got the opportunity away to Dundee and I’ve played alright in the last couple of games. It’s a good thing to have to keep you on your toes, knowing that if you’re not performing somebody’s more than capable of coming in and taking your place.”

Gray insists he will never allow himself to believe that his status as captain guarantees him a start. “Just because you’re captain doesn’t give you a divine right to play,” he said. “I think competition for places is so important all over the pitch. It keeps you on your toes but, more importantly, it gives the manager a real choice. It spoils him a little bit and sometimes makes his decision harder.

“When everybody’s fully fit he’ll have problems naming a squad of 18, never mind an 11. He must have a selection headache at times, but it’s up to the boys that are in to play as well as they can play and for the boys who are not playing to continue to work as hard as they can knowing they could be called upon at any time.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4561484.1505488242!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4561484.1505488242!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "David Gray had to sit out two games this season because Steven Whittaker took his place","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David Gray had to sit out two games this season because Steven Whittaker took his place","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4561484.1505488242!/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-temperley-ends-nine-year-parkhead-drought-1-4560231","id":"1.4560231","articleHeadline": "Hibee History: Temperley ends nine-year Parkhead drought","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505539800000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs came up with a shock result and robbed Celtic of their unbeaten league record.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4560230.1505470142!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs football players Colin Campbell and Willie Temperley at Easter Road in September 1978."} ,"articleBody": "

The home fans turned up at Parkhead with a swagger, but left with collective tails between their legs as a product of their youth system came back to haunt them.

When Willie Temperley drilled home the only goal of the game it was a sweet moment for the 22-year-old. Indeed, his celebration was memorable: running towards the dugout and somersaulting in front of Celtic manager Jock Stein.

It was Hibs’ first win in the east of Glasgow in nine years and it was achieved through pragmatism. Hibs manager Eddie Turnbull played winger Arthur Duncan at right-back and put Jackie McNamara sweeping behind the back four.

And they had four players booked for a series of fouls on Alfie Conn and Tommy Burns which were nothing short of disgraceful.

Celtic, for their part, missed a penalty and didn’t appear capable of getting to grips with the defence-in-depth of the visitors.

The goal in 25 minutes was a disaster for the home defence. Peter Latchford took a short free kick to Johannes Edvaldsson but, incredibly, he gave the ball away to Tony Higgins who in turn steered it to Temperley. With the keeper out of his goal, the ex-Celt took great delight in steering the ball into the net.

That was bad enough for Celtic but worse was to follow. George McLuskey went down in a tackle with Ally MacLeod and a penalty was awarded from which Ronnie Glavin smacked the ball off an upright, so close to making it 1-1.

The four booked were all Hibees: Rikki Fleming, Duncan, George Stewart and MacLeod but Hibs increased their defensive efforts as the game wore on and fended off an increasingly frantic Celtic team.

Hibs had their moments, the best was a shot from Higgins and a Temperley drive which went wide of the Celtic goal.

Celtic: Latchford, Filippi, Lynch, Aitken, Edvaldsson, Glavin (Doyle), Conn, Conroy, McAdam, Burns, G McCluskey. Subs: Sneddon

Hibernian: McDonald, Duncan, Smith, Fleming, Stewart, McNamara, Temperley, McLeod, Rae, Callachan, Higgins. Subs: Campbell, O’Brien

Goals: Temperley (25)

Referee: Mr H Alexander (Kilmarnock)

Attendance: 27,000

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Celtic 0, Hibs 1. September 16, 1978"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4560230.1505470142!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4560230.1505470142!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs football players Colin Campbell and Willie Temperley at Easter Road in September 1978.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs football players Colin Campbell and Willie Temperley at Easter Road in September 1978.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4560230.1505470142!/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-liam-fontaine-out-for-three-months-with-ankle-injury-1-4561358","id":"1.4561358","articleHeadline": "Hibs’ Liam Fontaine out for three months with ankle injury","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505482960000 ,"articleLead": "

hibs have been dealt another blow at centre-back after it emerged that Liam Fontaine is set for three months on the sidelines with ankle ligament damage.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4561357.1505482950!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Liam Fontaine"} ,"articleBody": "

The 31-year-old Englishman sustained what was initially deemed a minor injury in a development league match against Aberdeen a week past Tuesday and subsequently missed the first-team’s 1-1 draw at St Johnstone last weekend.

Neil Lennon had been hopeful of welcoming Fontaine back for Saturday’s home game against Motherwell, but scans this week have shown that the problem is more serious than anticipated and similar to the one that ended the former Bristol City player’s season prematurely in February. The centre-back is expected to be unavailable until December.

Although Fontaine has remained an unused substitute for most of the season so far, his absence will be more keenly felt since it coincides with a period when Darren McGregor is also sidelined until well into next month.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "PETER WALES"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4561357.1505482950!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4561357.1505482950!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Liam Fontaine","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Liam Fontaine","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4561357.1505482950!/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/quality-opponents-bring-marvin-bartley-to-the-fore-at-hibs-1-4560620","id":"1.4560620","articleHeadline": "Quality opponents bring Marvin Bartley to the fore at Hibs","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505453440000 ,"articleLead": "

Marvin Bartley is hopeful that facing a higher calibre of opposition this season will benefit him as he continues establishing himself as a regular in Hibs’ starting XI.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4560619.1505415097!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs midfielder Marvin Bartley battles with Dundees Glen Kamara"} ,"articleBody": "

The combative defensive midfielder found himself in and out of the team in his first season at Easter Road as Alan Stubbs occasionally preferred to field more attack-minded players in the Championship. It was a similar story in the first of half last term under Neil Lennon, before the Englishman started to become one of the first names on the Northern Irishman’s team sheet in the second half of the title-winning campaign.

As the only bona fide destructive anchorman on the books at Hibs, Bartley knows he has a good opportunity to maintain his regular status now that his team are facing more dangerous opponents in the Premiership.

“I just aim to do my job, and then it’s up to the manager if he picks me,” the 31-year-old Englishman told the Evening News. “It’s been the same wherever I’ve been throughout my career. I do my thing and if the manager sees fit to play me, then he plays me. I take it one game at a time and I aim to give my all in every game I play. I feel like I’m getting a good run of games now. But when I’ve been out the team before, the manager’s never said it was due to bad form.

“It’s normally been due to the way other teams set up against us. During the two years in the Championship, we had a lot of teams sitting behind the ball and not offering much going forward, so as a defensive midfielder, sometimes I wasn’t needed in the team so much. I had to understand that from a tactical point of view. But I think all teams in the Premiership want to attack, so I feel like there’s more of a role for me to play at this level. Even Hamilton coming to our place recently, I think people probably thought they would sit behind the ball and wouldn’t attack too much, but they ended up scoring three goals. We have to show teams respect and be ready for the possibility they’re going to attack us. As a defensive midfielder, that probably helps me stay in the team.”

After spending his first two years in Scotland in the Championship, Bartley has detected a marked improvement in the level of opposition Hibs have faced since returning to the Premiership last month. “I’ve definitely noticed a step up in quality this season,” he said. “If you give the ball away in this league, it’s a lot harder to get it back. You get punished for your mistakes a lot more. Look at the St Johnstone game last week, they only had one shot on target and scored from it. Teams in the Premiership seem to be a lot more clinical. They players are generally better all round in this league.

“I couldn’t pick a standout player – Glen Kamara at Dundee was a tough opponent – but it’s been more a case of teams being collectively stronger than having individuals tearing you apart. Teams seem to work as more of a unit rather than as individuals. They’re all working together so they’re harder to play against. I can’t think of a player off the top of my head who’s been extra special, but I feel like we’re coming up against better midfield units at this level.”

Bartley has been heartened by the fact Hibs last Saturday went toe-to-toe with one of the strongest midfield units in the division and were widely deemed to have come out on top even though the match in Perth ended 1-1. “St Johnstone have started very well and are still unbeaten, and they they normally do well in the league, so it was always going to be a good test for us as a team and a midfield unit,” said Bartley. “I think we came out on top in the midfield battle, but we’ve got to continue doing it. It’s no good just doing it for the first few games when we’ve got that buzz of being back in the league around us. It’s important we remain consistent.”

Bartley played a big part in Hibs controlling the game, although he was aided significantly by a high-quality display from midfield sidekick John McGinn. “He’s a fabulous player – he picks the ball up and drives really well,” said Bartley. “I think we complement each other well when we play together. It’s a joy to play beside him. He puts a shift in alongside you, and that’s all you can really ask. Players always have good games and bad games no matter what level you’re playing at, but the one thing with McGinn is you’ll always get 100 per cent from him. Even during the speculation, away at Dundee, he was still giving everything. He played very well at St Johnstone – if he could perform week in, week out at that level he’d probably be at Barcelona!”

Hibs played 4-2-3-1 at McDiarmid Park, with Bartley and McGinn patrolling central midfield and Anthony Stokes dropping off main striker Simon Murray to play in the No.10 position. Hibs have also utilised a 3-5-2 formation and a midfield diamond this season. While Bartley’s role rarely changes, he believes the fact Lennon has a squad of players who are comfortable in different systems will stand them in good stead.

“We’ve got good players who can play in a few different positions and slot into many different formations,” he said. “That can help us during a game. If things are not going too well, he can change it after 20 minutes, without necessarily having to change the personnel. The gaffer looked at the formations he wanted to play and he’s got players in that suit those styles. He went about his business very shrewdly in the summer, and he’s built a good squad with a lot of flexibility.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4560619.1505415097!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4560619.1505415097!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs midfielder Marvin Bartley battles with Dundees Glen Kamara","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs midfielder Marvin Bartley battles with Dundees Glen Kamara","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4560619.1505415097!/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/marvin-bartley-maintain-form-and-wins-will-come-for-hibs-1-4560582","id":"1.4560582","articleHeadline": "Marvin Bartley: Maintain form and wins will come for Hibs","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505453434000 ,"articleLead": "

Marvin Bartley is confident that Hibs will return to winning ways against Motherwell tomorrow if they can maintain the level of performance they have produced in the majority of their games this season.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4560581.1505410606!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Marvin Bartley is relishing tomorrow's clash with Motherwell"} ,"articleBody": "

The midfielder is thrilled with the manner in which the Easter Road side have kicked off their return to the top flight – losing only one of their five matches and generally having been deemed the better team in the other four. Despite this, Hibs have been disappointed not to make their superiority count in back-to-back 1-1 draws away to Dundee and St Johnstone, and they now face the challenge of having to snap a three-game run without a win when Stephen Robinson’s in-form team head to Leith this weekend.

Bartley is optimistic that they will do so as long as they can replicate the level of dominance they have shown in recent matches.

“I think we can be proud of how we’ve played this season,” the Englishman told the Evening News. “We were disappointed to lose at home to Hamilton but our performances apart from that have been very good. We’d have preferred to have a few more points from the last couple of games but we’ve performed really well for a team that’s just come into the Premiership.

“We just have to repeat the performance we showed against Dundee and St Johnstone. If we keep performing at that level throughout the season, we’ll win more games than we draw or lose. There’s only so many times defenders can keep clearing things off the line and goalies can make the type of save the St Johnstone keeper (Alan Mannus) made from Martin Boyle’s shot last weekend. As long as we keep performing the way we have been and keep creating the chances we have been, we’ll do very well going forward.”

Bartley, playing in Scotland’s top flight for the first time this season, is enjoying the novelty of facing teams he knows very little about. Motherwell are one such side he has never faced since arriving at Hibs just over two years ago. “Everything’s new to me coming into this level,” he said. “I’ve played against Rangers before and I’ve seen Celtic on television, but I don’t know much about Motherwell. The manager says they’re quite a physical team, and that’s something I relish. If it’s going to be that sort of game, I’ll enjoy it.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4560581.1505410606!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4560581.1505410606!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Marvin Bartley is relishing tomorrow's clash with Motherwell","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Marvin Bartley is relishing tomorrow's clash with Motherwell","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4560581.1505410606!/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/our-region/edinburgh/fifa-18-hibs-players-ratings-revealed-1-4560323","id":"1.4560323","articleHeadline": "FIFA 18: Hibs players ratings revealed","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505398617000 ,"articleLead": "

The FIFA 18 demo has revealed the ratings for Hibs players ahead of the launch of the new game.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4560321.1505398609!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Hibs FIFA 18 ratings have been revealed."} ,"articleBody": "

While it is a welcome return to the game for Hibs fans (with only the Scottish Premiership included in the game, meaning Hibs did not feature during the Championship era), the ratings for some of the squad may leave some Hibs fans slightly perplexed.

John McGinn, who won the Championship player of the year last season, has a rating of just 66 and is not the highest-rated player in the 16 Hibs players revealed so far, according to EA Sports and revealed by Talking Baws.

That accolade falls to new summer recruit Steven Whittaker, who is rated at 70.

Efe Ambrose and Danny Swanson prop up the top three with a rating of 69 with Liam Fontaine and Brandon Barker, on loan from Man City, making up the top five with ratings of 68.

Simon Murray, who has already scored ten goals for the club this season, has a lowly rating of 62.

He is joined by Lewis Stevenson and Vykintas Slivka as the lowest rated Hibs players on the game, with all rated at 62.

A bone of contention for many Hibs fans will be the fact that Hearts midfielder Malaury Martin has a higher rating than many of the Hibs players, with the out-of-favour Frenchman rated at 69.

Fans favourite Marvin Bartley has not yet had his ranking revealed, Scottish Cup hero David Gray has a rating of 63, with fellow Hampden hero Anthony Stokes having a rating of 66.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "STEPHEN MCILKENNY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4560321.1505398609!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4560321.1505398609!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Hibs FIFA 18 ratings have been revealed.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Hibs FIFA 18 ratings have been revealed.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4560321.1505398609!/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-director-of-football-george-craig-gives-insight-into-role-1-4559591","id":"1.4559591","articleHeadline": "Hibs director of football George Craig gives insight into role","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505367027000 ,"articleLead": "

After crashing out of the Premiership in a state of disarray in 2014, George Craig was the man Hibs turned to as they sought to rebuild their football department with long-term prosperity in mind. The 58-year-old head of football operations has worked diligently in the background to implement a structure and an environment which has allowed the team’s two high-profile head coaches during his tenure, Alan Stubbs and Neil Lennon, to thrive. Just over three years into his role, the former Falkirk managing director, sat down with the Evening News to reflect on his work at Easter Road, and discuss various aspects of his job.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4559587.1505391881!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "George Craig is just over three years into this role at Hibs"} ,"articleBody": "

How would you describe your time at Hibs?

It’s been fantastic – really challenging, but exciting. Over the three years, ultimately it’s been successful so far. For a club the size of Hibernian to get relegated, the consequences could have been significant, so I’ve got to give credit to the board who probably went against what usually happens when a club gets relegated. Instead of contracting, they viewed it as a time to reflect and make positive change. That positive change costs money in terms of bringing in senior members of staff like myself and (chief executive) Leeann Dempster at a time when the club is going to be losing income. If it wasn’t for that decision, the opportunity for me wouldn’t have been created. It was then important for me and Leeann to grasp that opportunity and bring value to the club. Hopefully, so far, people are able to look at what we’ve done and say ‘yeah, that’s worked.’

Did you benefit from having a blank canvas to rebuild?

If you’re going in as head of football operations to a club that’s just won the Champions League, you’re probably scratching your head thinking ‘what can I do next?’ From a selfish perspective, going in on the back of relegation meant there was plenty for me to do. I wasn’t brought in to add to an existing structure, I was basically able to build a structure. The biggest thing I benefitted from was this terrific facility at East Mains – that gave me the platform. All I really needed to do was find the right people.

What have you been doing over the past three years?

People say to me ‘what do you do, George?’ And I say ‘it’ll probably be when I’m not here that you notice what I do.’ One of the most important things I do is to keep everything calm. I don’t coach, I don’t scout, I’m not a sports scientist. A lot of my job is done by bringing in the right people, so after that it revolves around keeping abreast of what everybody is doing. Overseeing recruitment, medicine and science, performance analysis and all the other areas within the football department from academy to first team. My own particular passion is developing young players so I find lots of things to do on that front. I’m constantly driving that process. Project Brave is taking up quite a lot of my time at the moment – it’s exciting. My main job is to provide support. The minute I try to do somebody else’s job, it’s a bad day because I’m not qualified to do it. Today, for instance, I’ve been making travel arrangements for upcoming away games and looking at replacing the surface on the 3G training pitch.

Apart from the team’s progress on the pitch, which aspects of the role have given you particular satisfaction?

When Alan Stubbs left last summer, there was a real challenge on the structure to seamlessly bring a new head coach in without having to reinvent the whole thing. In football, when you change a manager, 
you often find everything changes, which is always going to leave a club vulnerable. In football, it’s almost like you’re relying on the new manager to come in and tell you how to run the whole club, whereas in most other businesses, it’s the other way about. The actual company/club/business know the direction they want to take, and it’s up to them to employ the right people to go in that direction. Faced with the prospect of replacing a head coach is scary at the best of times, but when I look back now, we did that probably as seamlessly as we could. We followed all the same criteria that we had put in place when we appointed Alan, but we brought Neil, who is a very high-profile individual, into our structure, and he and Garry Parker came in almost seamlessly. Within a few weeks, you’d have hardly noticed we’d changed manager. Of course, he has a different way of doing things to Alan but it wasn’t fundamentally different. Neil didn’t suddenly want to change the way we were doing things with sports medicine and science and things like that. We weren’t having to completely reinvent, so I was very satisfied at the way that all went. I also take satisfaction from the fact we’ve not signed a player on deadline day in each of the last three transfer windows. It might seem strange that I’d pick that out but I think that’s an example of good planning. I think it’s much better to go into the last day thinking ‘if something crops up that surprises us, we can take advantage of it’ as opposed to thinking ‘we need to sign three or four players today or we’re going to have a real problem.’ It’s small things like that where I can see progress being made.

Give us an insight into your relationship with Neil Lennon.

When Neil Lennon was coming in, you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t think about how you were going to work with a man of his stature. Going into the first meeting, Leeann and myself wanted Neil to fit the structure but, if he didn’t, it wouldn’t have been sensible to appoint him. It wasn’t just a case of going for the guy with the biggest profile. That first meeting with Neil was almost too good to be true – it was like we’d been searching for each other all our careers. I remember explaining the structure to Neil, and he said ‘I don’t know what you’ve heard about me, George, but this is exactly what I’m looking for. I don’t want to come in and have to do everything’. I think me and Neil have a very positive working relationship. The most important thing I can do with Neil is to create the space for him to his job. It’s not Neil’s job to run this facility, he’s not a sports scientist or a groundsman. I’ve got to make sure the grass is cut and that the physios are doing their job, and then Neil doesn’t have to worry about all that stuff. At some other clubs, the manager can be involved in doing all of that. The manager is always going to be the focal point of the club but he doesn’t have to do absolutely everything. If you’re relying on him to do everything, that dilutes what you actually need him to do. Neil’s skill set is to coach, manage and motivate players. We try to make it as easy as possible for him to do that by making sure everything he needs is done.

How is the academy/development squad shaping up?

Extending (academy manager) Eddie May’s role to include the development squad was significant. Eddie initially only looked after the academy (up to age 17) but now he oversees all the development squads (up to age 21). For me, when you’re developing players, it’s important to have continuity 
of decision-making. When I first came in, we basically had two senior managers within the academy. As part of Project Brave, which we’ve embraced, we now have one senior manager (May) overseeing it all with Grant Murray as head of the professional academy and we’ve appointed a head of junior academy, Phillip Kidd, and a head of youth academy, Chris Smith. There should be no vertical lines between age-groups. Everybody’s embraced that, nobody more than the manager. Neil and Garry Parker watch almost every development squad game, which is crucial because a huge part of this plan is to develop our own players. That’s not easy at a club with such high expectations, but it becomes a lot easier when the head coach knows everything there is to know about the young players coming through. We’re trying to identify, recruit and develop talented young footballers. I want them to have an EH postcode. We had to assess and restructure our scouting to make sure we had eyes and ears out there and formed relationships with the terrific boys clubs in the area. Our academy isn’t a participation programme – it’s effectively a university for footballers. We don’t want to take all the players from the top boys clubs just for the sake of it – we only want them if they are exceptional and have got a real chance. One of the targets we give to the recruitment department is to know the top 12 players in Edinburgh born in each year. Of those 12 players, I’d like to think we’ve identified all 12. Then after that, we look at how many we’ve been able to recruit. Hearts are our main rivals for players, and they should be our only rivals since we’re looking for players in Edinburgh and the Borders. We want to make geography work for us because Rangers and Celtic have to convince the parents of Edinburgh-born players that going through to Glasgow four times a week is better than coming to us. I’m very encouraged by the number of top players in the area we’ve managed to recruit. If we don’t recruit good players, no matter how good the coaches are, we’ll always struggle. We basically intend to recruit the best young players in Edinburgh and put them into an environment where, technically and tactically, they can get the best information possible and, physically, they get the best preparation possible. If you have good players and good coaches, you’ve got half a chance.

Are you pleased with the number of young players in the first-team picture?

We operate to a basis that we have a first-team squad with 20 outfield players and three goalkeepers. That’s not a big amount so all 20 players have to be able to contribute. We will measure the success of our player development programme on how many of those places are filled on merit by developing our own players. Four of those 20 places are currently taken by Fraser Murray, Oli Shaw, Ryan Porteous and Scott Martin. Any time they are called upon, they’ve got to be ready to step in. Otherwise, we’ve just got them there for window dressing. I can’t afford to be dressing windows when Neil Lennon’s job could potentially depend on it.

Are you effectively Hibs’ director of football?

Yes, I probably am. Football is the same as any other business - you need to have clearly defined roles so people understand exactly what they’re doing within a structure. The problem arises when that’s clouded. I don’t think the title is the problem. I keep hearing people say ‘what does a director of football do?’ You could call me head of 
football operations or director of football or you could just call me George. Ultimately, people who work with me will judge me on how good I am at doing my job, and supporters will probably collectively say ‘well, while George was here, we had some decent results, so he did okay.’ To do what I do, it 
attracts less attention because I don’t have the same football profile perhaps as Craig Levein or any other people in my 
position who have actually played the game or managed at a high level. There’s less spotlight. That’s not to say Craig and I don’t have a lot of similar skills. If I’m sitting with a 
manager, with my background, he’s not going to have the slightest bit of concern about ever losing his job to me 
because I just couldn’t do it. I will only give an opinion about a specific area of expertise if I’m asked by the staff. I ask questions, but that’s only so I have the knowledge. The day I walk in to Neil’s office and say ‘I think we should play 4-3-3’, that’s it all over. That’s not 
going to happen. Having said that, all of the managers I’ve worked with have asked my opinion or advice at some point, but that’s usually about how to deal with a situation rather than about the shape 
of the team or anything like that.

Is everything going to plan?

Yes, I think it is. In some instances, we’re ahead of plan. I’ve set out to implement an overall unifying strategy. It’s about believing in the plan, getting good people in place and sticking to the plan. We’ve got a settled staff and I’m really happy with my department heads. I don’t want us to get carried away but I can see progress.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4559587.1505391881!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4559587.1505391881!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "George Craig is just over three years into this role at Hibs","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "George Craig is just over three years into this role at Hibs","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4559587.1505391881!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4559589.1505391883!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4559589.1505391883!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Craig has an excellent working relationship with chief executive Leeann Dempster","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craig has an excellent working relationship with chief executive Leeann Dempster","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4559589.1505391883!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4559590.1505391885!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4559590.1505391885!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Craig pictured alongside head coach Neil Lennon and Dempster","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craig pictured alongside head coach Neil Lennon and Dempster","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4559590.1505391885!/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-boss-wants-maximum-points-from-rare-home-league-game-1-4559289","id":"1.4559289","articleHeadline": "Hibs boss wants maximum points from rare home league game","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505367023000 ,"articleLead": "

Neil Lennon has challenged Hibs to ensure they capitalise on their only home league game in a near-two-month window by defeating Motherwell on Saturday.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4559288.1505317889!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Neil Lennon"} ,"articleBody": "

This weekend will be the only time they play a Premiership fixture at Easter Road between August 19, when Hamilton Accies visited, and October 14, when they welcome Aberdeen. During this period, Hibs will have faced four away games – at Dundee, St Johnstone, Ross County and Celtic.

The manager expressed bewilderment at this state of affairs, but is well aware of the importance of making home advantage count against Stephen Robinson’s in-form team after taking just two points from their past three matches.

“I don’t know what way the fixture list works, but from Dundee to Celtic, we’ll have had four away games out of five,” he said. “I don’t know how that works out. It’s nice to have a home game, but we’ll need to maximise it.

“Motherwell have done well, they’re a point ahead of us. I watched them against Rangers and they were unlucky not to get anything out of the game. They’ve beaten Hearts and Kilmarnock since then. They’re a big physical team, and uncompromising as well, but they can play a bit when they need to do so. It’ll be another challenge for us but we’re looking forward to it.”

Saturday’s match pits Lennon against one of his former Northern Ireland team-mates for the second match running. After drawing 1-1 with Tommy Wright’s St Johnstone last weekend, he is looking forward to locking horns with 42-year-old Robinson, whom he played alongside for his national team in the late 1990s and early Noughties.

“Stephen was playing for Bournemouth when we played together and I was at Leicester and then at Celtic at that time,” said Lennon. “I’ve known him a long time – he was a very good footballer.

“As a manager he’s done his apprenticeship. He had his stint at Oldham, he’s done really well with the Under-21s at Northern Ireland, and he seems to have fitted in really well at Motherwell. They’ve had a very good start.”

Lennon has been encouraged by his own team’s start, although he feels they should be a few points better off after drawing their last two games, away to Dundee and St Johnstone, despite being widely viewed as the better team on both occasions. The manager is confident Hibs will soon return to winning ways.

“I just hope we can maintain the quality of performance we’ve shown predominantly over the season so far,” said Lennon. “I’ve been delighted with the football we’ve played. If we keep playing the way we’re playing we’re going to win games. But you’ll find that we might not play as well as we have done in the last two games and end up winning some games. I’m really happy with the level of performance and the quality of the chances we’re creating. I can’t ask any more of the team at the moment.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4559288.1505317889!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4559288.1505317889!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Neil Lennon","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Neil Lennon","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4559288.1505317889!/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-boss-explains-reasons-for-lewis-stevenson-omission-1-4558247","id":"1.4558247","articleHeadline": "Hibs boss explains reasons for Lewis Stevenson omission","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505280641000 ,"articleLead": "

Neil Lennon explained that the current Hibs squad is so strong that big-name players like Lewis Stevenson will always be at risk of dropping to the bench if standards dip.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4558246.1505251307!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lewis Stevenson has been left on the bench in Hibs' past two matches. Pic: TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

The left-back has been an unused substitute for the last two games – 1-1 draws away to both Dundee and St Johnstone – after being among four players to lose their starting place on the back of last month’s 3-1 home defeat by Hamilton Accies. Efe Ambrose and Dylan McGeouch were the others to pay the price for that setback at Easter Road, while Danny Swanson, who was taken off after 56 minutes of a frustrating outing against Accies, missed the match at Dens Park through illness.

Stevenson’s omission from the starting line-up has been particularly notable as he has been deemed a first pick at left-back in recent years, with the long-serving 29-year-old starting every match for which he has been available over the past three seasons, apart from two games last term – against Turriff United and Raith Rovers – when Lennon chose to rest the majority of his main men.

Stevenson’s left-back slot has been filled by Steven Whittaker, the versatile Scotland internationalist who had taken captain David Gray’s place at right-back earlier in the season.

With regard to the demotion of two-time cup winner Stevenson, Lennon was keen to stress that Hibs will always have a stellar cast of substitutes because of the array of quality at his disposal.

“We’ve got a big squad and we’ve got to pick a team,” the manager told the Evening News. “With this squad, we’re always going to have big players on the bench. Dave Gray sat out the first couple of games and he’s come back fresh and ready to go. We’ve got good players in a lot of positions.

“I’ve got lots of good players and Lewy’s a very important player for us but we’re playing well defensively and the way we’re playing at the minute, there’s no need to change things too much.”

Underlining Lennon’s point, the bench at McDiarmid Park on Saturday included two of Hibs’ Scottish Cup-winning starting XI - Stevenson and McGeouch - as well as two Lithuania internationalists - Vykintas Slivka and Deivydas Matulevicius - and Swanson, who was Saints’ player of the year last season.

Liam Fontaine is expected to be among the substitutes for this Saturday’s home match against Motherwell after missing last weekend’s trip to Perth with a minor ankle injury.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4558246.1505251307!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4558246.1505251307!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lewis Stevenson has been left on the bench in Hibs' past two matches. Pic: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lewis Stevenson has been left on the bench in Hibs' past two matches. Pic: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4558246.1505251307!/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-defender-jordon-forster-opens-up-on-achilles-injury-hell-1-4558166","id":"1.4558166","articleHeadline": "Ex-Hibs defender Jordon Forster opens up on Achilles injury hell","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505280632000 ,"articleLead": "

Three weeks ago today, Jordon Forster was preparing to play for Cheltenham Town in a televised EFL Cup tie at home to West Ham United.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4558163.1505233219!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jordon Forster lies in agony after rupturing his Achilles. Pics: Thousand Word Media/GloucestershireLive"} ,"articleBody": "

Everything was going swimmingly for the former Hibs defender after he defected to the English League Two side in the summer in search of a fresh start and a chance to reignite his stalled career. Forster was revelling in his role as a regular once more after starting in each of Cheltenham’s first three league games. Off the pitch, meanwhile, his partner and her son, who had moved to Gloucestershire with him, were settling into new jobs and school respectively.

The 23-year-old Hibs academy graduate was beginning sense an upturn in fortunes following a frustrating final three years at Easter Road in which he was hindered by a string of relatively minor injuries and a lack of game time under Alan Stubbs and Neil Lennon. “Then bang!” he says, ruefully, as he reflects on the moment he was placed at the lowest point of his football career to date. Just three days after the buzz of playing his part in a gallant 2-0 defeat by a West Ham side featuring several Premier League regulars, Forster’s world caved in when, 70 minutes into a league match at home to Exeter City – which was poised at 2-2 at the time – he felt an explosion in his foot while attempting a routine headed clearance.

“A ball came in towards the back post, I took a couple of steps backwards to jump for the header and as I went to push off, my Achilles snapped,” he told the Evening News. “Anybody who has done it before will know what it feels like – it’s like a gun shot going off in the bottom of your foot. It was really loud. I knew straight away it was something bad. I originally thought someone had landed on the back of my Achilles. I immediately had about four or five seconds of really bad pain and then it went away so I tried to stand up. As soon as I tried to put my foot down, I could feel it banging, so I rolled back down and had to get stretchered off. I went straight to hospital and they put my leg in a cast.”

Scans confirmed Forster’s worst fears that he had ruptured his Achilles and that a season which had started so promisingly for him was as good as over. The defender underwent successful surgery on September 1 – six days after sustaining the injury – but is barely mobile and at a low ebb as he contemplates the long and arduous road to recovery. The prognosis is for anything between six and nine months on the sidelines.

“It’s been soul-destroying,” he said. “I came down here to get games, to try and better my career and get my name out there again after a frustrating few years at Hibs. Everything was looking up. The start of the season was going well, I was playing every week, we’d settled into a new house and we were coming off a really good performance against West Ham. We were really proud of the way we had played in that game, so to go from being on a high like that on the Wednesday night to sitting with my leg in a plaster on the Saturday night is really hard to take. I still don’t think it’s completely sunk in yet.

“I’m preparing myself for a long time out and there’s nothing I can do about it. After my cast comes off, I’ll be in a moon boot for four to six weeks. When I’m able to walk again and get back and do some rehab and proper hard work, I think it’ll become a bit easier to deal with mentally. But right now, honestly, it’s just a case of sitting in the house and not doing much at all. I’ve become very reliant on my partner. I find I’m getting quite irritable and frustrated very easily, so something like this puts a real stress on a lot of things, not just your football. In that regard, the next month or two of doing very little will be the hardest part for me. After that, at least I’ll be able to get my head down and work. If I didn’t have my girlfriend and the wee man down here with me, I’m telling you now, I’d be in deep water. I’ve been a bit of a pain to live with since it happened but they’re helping me massively.

“Everything was going perfectly well on and off the pitch. My girlfriend had started her job, we’d got the wee man sorted out with a school, the house was all up and running and decorated and all that. Everything was going almost too well. That’s what makes it even more frustrating.

“The surgeon said it’s a freak thing to happen for someone of my age so after everything that happened in the last few years at Hibs, it really makes me wonder about my luck. I keep telling myself that there’s millions of people in the world a lot worse off than me. That’s the only way I can look at it right now.”

Although Forster had some frustrating injury lay-offs to contend with during his last three years at Hibs, nothing compares in magnitude to the one he is currently enduring. “Three years ago, when Alan Stubbs first came in, I played about 15 games in a row and then I broke my foot,” he said. “After I came back from that, I got appendicitis. That was the only season when I was really plagued by injury. Over the last couple of seasons it’s only been minor niggles which a lot of the time have come from the fact I wasn’t playing regularly. Before this, the broken foot that kept me out for two months was my most serious injury. This is definitely going to be the worst. It’s going to be as hard mentally as it will be physically. There’s nothing I can do about it, though – it’s happened, and I just need to get on with it.”

Forster’s former Hibs team-mate Farid El Alagui suffered the same injury three years ago and saw his first season at Easter Road effectively written off. The defender has had his spirits lifted by some words of encouragement from Hearts player John Souttar, who returned to action in July, just under six months after rupturing his Achilles at Celtic Park. “I’m not friends with John – I’d never spoke to him much before – but he got in contact with me and said if there was anything I needed or if I had any questions he’d be happy to help me because he’s been through it before and it’s a tough injury to get over,” Forster explained. “That was really nice of him and I appreciate all the help he’s given me. It’s nice for someone to offer a hand to try and help you. When you first get injured and someone tells you that you could be looking at nine months out, you get things in your head that you don’t want to be thinking about. But speaking to John made me feel slightly better because he’s been in my position and has just come back from that injury after six months and played again.”

Forster, who has just returned to Cheltenham after spending part of last week in Edinburgh visiting his parents in an attempt to brighten his mood, has set himself a target of returning to action within seven months. “I’m realistic enough to know I might not play again this season but my aim, all going well, is to try and get back around the start of April and play four or five games before the end of the season,” he said. “That would be really good.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4558163.1505233219!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4558163.1505233219!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jordon Forster lies in agony after rupturing his Achilles. Pics: Thousand Word Media/GloucestershireLive","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jordon Forster lies in agony after rupturing his Achilles. Pics: Thousand Word Media/GloucestershireLive","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4558163.1505233219!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4558164.1505233223!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4558164.1505233223!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Forster had established himself in the Cheltenham team","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Forster had established himself in the Cheltenham team","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4558164.1505233223!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4558165.1505233224!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4558165.1505233224!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts defender John Souttar was quick to get in touch and offer support to Forster having suffered a similar injury","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts defender John Souttar was quick to get in touch and offer support to Forster having suffered a similar injury","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4558165.1505233224!/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-must-stop-conceding-first-goal-says-efe-ambrose-1-4557029","id":"1.4557029","articleHeadline": "Hibs must stop conceding first goal, says Efe Ambrose","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505194241000 ,"articleLead": "

In all five of their Premiership games this season, Hibs have had to contend with losing the first goal.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4557028.1505141981!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Michael O'Halloran puts St Johnstone a goal up against Hibs. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

While this is not an ideal scenario, it says much about the resolve within Neil Lennon’s team that they have fought back to take at least a point from four of those matches.

Against both Partick Thistle and Rangers last month, Hibs conceded in the opening seven minutes and recovered to win 3-1 and 3-2 respectively. And away to both Dundee and St Johnstone, the Easter Road side have found themselves a goal down and responded strongly to draw 1-1. Indeed, the consensus is that their performances in both of those Tayside stalemates were dominant enough to have merited Hibs taking full points back to Edinburgh.

The only occasion in which they have been unable to overcome a deficit was in the 3-1 defeat at home to Hamilton Accies. Efe Ambrose acknowledges that Hibs’ trend of allowing their opponents a goal of a start needs halted in order to stop undermining their progress on their return to the top flight, but the Nigerian defender is heartened by his team’s resilience in the face of adversity

“We don’t want to concede the first goal because if your mentality is not strong, it can shatter your gameplan and cause you to panic – it can be difficult,” Ambrose told the Evening News. “But this team has good mental strength. The gaffer always tells us that if we concede a goal, the most important thing is how we bounce back from it. You can fall behind without doing much wrong. An opponent can shoot from 30 yards and it can take a deflection and go in, so we have to be prepared mentally for the possibility of falling behind.

“We are always mindful of this, so if we do fall behind, we know that the next step is to bounce back and make sure we score a goal. No matter what happens to us in a game, we know we have to keep playing to the end. That is the mentality we have. It is not good to concede first, though, so we need to do better defensively as well.”

In addition to avoiding falling behind, Ambrose knows that Hibs must find a way of capitalising on the chances they are creating. In their last two games, against Dundee and St Johnstone, they have enjoyed the lion’s share of pressure and sights of goal, but been unable to turn one point into three on either occasion.

“We did enough to win the game on Saturday in terms of the chances we created and the tempo we played at,” Ambrose continued. “The disappointing thing was that we didn’t convert the chances but you can see there is a positivity in the team, with the character and mentality. After being a goal down, we stood up, fought to pull a goal back and then deserved to win.

“It was very similar to the Dundee game. We fell behind, came back and then had a lot of chances. The gaffer has been telling us we need to utilise our chances and be ruthless. You can concede goals but the most important thing is that you score goals. We could easily have scored four goals on Saturday and we would have won 4-1, but one goal is not good enough for the amount of chances we had. The gaffer was pleased with the performance but he was not pleased with the outcome. We need to do better up front. We need to look at our mistakes and work on them for the next game against Motherwell.”

Although there is a sense of frustration in the Hibs camp that they only have eight points to show from their efforts despite being the better team in four of their five matches so far, Ambrose is encouraged by the fact his sixth-place team have been able to go to notoriously tough Premiership destinations like Ibrox and McDiarmid Park and pin their hosts back for long periods.

“St Johnstone are a great team who have been together for a long time and we know how difficult it is to go to there stadium and play in their half of the pitch,” said the former Celtic defender. “It is not a good place for any team to go because it is so difficult. For us to get a draw and still feel that we should have won has to go down as a credit.”

After a match when the back four of David Gray, Ambrose, Paul Hanlon and Steven Whittaker hardly gave Saints a clear sight of goal all afternoon, the Nigerian remains irked that the Perth side punished his team by scoring on the one occasion they managed to cut them open, when Michael O’Halloran ran unchecked into the danger area to tap in a Liam Craig cross following an impressive breakaway. The fact the Hibs attackers were unable to be as clinical as O’Halloran whenever opportunity knocked added to Ambrose’s sense of frustration.

“Apart from the goal, we were very secure defensively,” he said. “They only had one real chance but unfortunately they got the goal from it. We had more threat on their goal, but we only scored once. We need to work hard to get things right for the next game.”

Darren McGregor’s injury paved the way for Ambrose to return to the starting line-up on Saturday after being benched at Dens Park. The Nigerian is disappointed that his fellow centre-back is facing a few weeks on the sidelines as he prepares to undergo a minor knee operation, but is adamant that Lennon’s squad is strong enough to cope with any absences over the course of the season. “The squad is big enough,” he said. “We have strength and depth in all positions. We don’t just have a first XI – we have a big squad with everybody ready to play. It just depends who the gaffer picks for each game.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4557028.1505141981!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4557028.1505141981!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Michael O'Halloran puts St Johnstone a goal up against Hibs. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Michael O'Halloran puts St Johnstone a goal up against Hibs. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4557028.1505141981!/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-liam-fontaine-in-contention-for-visit-of-motherwell-1-4557070","id":"1.4557070","articleHeadline": "Hibs’ Liam Fontaine in contention for visit of Motherwell","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505194229000 ,"articleLead": "

Liam Fontaine is expected to return to the Hibs squad for this weekend’s Premiership match at home to Motherwell.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4557069.1505143761!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Liam Fontaine has not played for Hibs since July 25"} ,"articleBody": "

The 31-year-old centre-back missed last Saturday’s 1-1 draw away to St Johnstone after sustaining a minor ankle injury while playing for the development team against Aberdeen last week in a bid to get some match sharpness.

However, he is due to train this week, with a view to being back in the squad for Saturday’s clash with the in-form Steelmen.

“Fonts should be fit and in contention for the weekend,” confirmed head coach Neil Lennon.

Fontaine has been confined to the substitutes’ bench for most of this season, with Efe Ambrose, Paul Hanlon and Darren McGregor having been preferred for starting duty at centre-back. The Englishman’s last appearance, remarkably, came in the 6-1 Betfred Cup victory over Arbroath on July 25.

However, his availability for a return to the match-day squad this weekend will come as a welcome boost to Lennon at a time when McGregor is preparing for a minor knee operation which is likely to keep him sidelined into October.

Lennon revealed that Vykintas Slivka dropped to the substitutes’ bench at McDiarmid Park as a result of a knock he sustained while playing for Lithuania in their double-header against Scotland and Slovenia. The 22-year-old midfielder had started the previous match away to Dundee, but he was replaced in Saturday’s line-up by the fit-again Martin Boyle and remained unused throughout as Hibs seized the upper hand.

“Vicky had a bit of a dead leg coming back from international duty,” said Lennon. “We were worried about fatigue after playing the two games (for Lithuania) and he didn’t train on Friday, so we didn’t take a chance with him from the start. The way we played, we didn’t need to make many substitutions because we were fabulous.”

Hibs face Hamilton Accies in an SPFL Development League match at Oriam at 2pm today.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4557069.1505143761!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4557069.1505143761!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Liam Fontaine has not played for Hibs since July 25","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Liam Fontaine has not played for Hibs since July 25","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4557069.1505143761!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}