Hibs manager Pat Fenlon leaves the club

Pat Fenlon has left Hibs. Pic: Jane Barlow
Pat Fenlon has left Hibs. Pic: Jane Barlow
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Hibs manager Pat Fenlon has left the club - insisting the decision was “100 per cent” his own.

The official Hibs FC Twitter feed broke the news this afternoon which follows the club’s defeat to rivals Hearts in the League Cup.

It quoted Fenlon as saying: “It is a difficult decision for me, but it is the right decision.

“I’ve been privileged to manage this fantastic football club and I really hopes it does kick on now.”

The Irishman moved to Edinburgh to replace Colin Calderwood in November 2011 but his reign included last year’s humiliating 5-1 Scottish Cup final defeat to city rivals Hearts as well as the record 7-0 Europa League setback to Malmo earlier this term.

The final straw for supporters came when they lost to the administration-hit Jambos for a second time this season on Wednesday, as they crashed out of the Scottish League Cup.

Assistant Jimmy Nicholl will take the team for Sunday’s Scottish Premiership match at Motherwell.

Fenlon, 44, arrived in Scotland with an impressive track record in Ireland, where he had racked up five league titles.

His first act as Hibs boss was to save the team from relegation but the heavy defeat to Hearts at Hampden saw him lucky to survive his first season in the capital.

Things improved last season as a second cup final appearance was booked after coming back from 3-0 down against Falkirk in the semi-finals. However, Celtic ran out comfortable 3-0 victors in the final while the team again missed out on the top six.

But worse was to come this term when they shipped nine goals in two games to Malmo in the Europa League qualifiers before twice losing out to their rivals from Tynecastle, even though Gary Locke’s side had been ravaged by their own administration crisis.

And Fenlon admitted the 5-1 disaster at Hampden still haunts him.

He said: “My biggest regret was losing the Scottish Cup final to Hearts but I have no regrets about coming to the club. It was a privilege to manage this team.”

In a statement released by the club, chairman Rod Petrie thanked Fenlon for his efforts, adding: “Pat arrived when were at a very low point almost two years ago and he has worked tirelessly to bring about improvements since his first day.

“He has taken us to two Scottish Cup finals in successive seasons and in his first full season in charge improved our league standing by 18 points and four places.

“He has assembled a squad of talented players but feels that he should now hand over the reins. We wish pat every success in future and thank him for all his efforts.”