Hibs boss Alan Stubbs has claimed hearing his players bicker among themselves after crashing to a third successive defeat was music to his ears.
The frank exchange of opinions in the away dressing room at Palmerston Park minutes after the Edinburgh side had lost to Queen of the South – that defeat coming hard on the heels of having been beaten by Morton and Dumbarton – was, Stubbs revealed, the first time he’d heard them have a go at each other.
“They are a really honest bunch of lads,” said the head coach, “They had words for a short time after the game. It was not shouiting, but it was a good sign. I like to see that, it means they care. They want to put it right as quickly as possible.
“It was the first time I have had to see it, it’s the first time we have lost three games in a week. Sometimes you can learn more from losing than winning. As a player, sometimes you don’t think why it went right, You roll from game to game.
“But when you get defeats you start to ask yourself questions. When you lose, you question yourself more than when you win.”
Although his players weren’t at all happy, Stubbs insisted things didn’t get out of hand saying: “I wouldn’t have allowed it to be heated. I am the one who puts the heat in there, if there is going to be heat. There are no players who are going to get heated.
“There will be no pointing fingers, it doesn’t solve anything. Calling someone a ‘bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep’ is not going to solve anything.
“Pointing your finger at someone and saying you are not doign this is not going to solve anything either. It is the easiest thing in football to point your finger. You have to talk about it and solve it individually and collectively. Could we have done anything better? Obviously in the games we could have done.”
Despite the disappointment, Stubbs was adamant his players remain upbeat ahead of tomorrow’s Scottish Cup quarter-final with Inverness Caledonian Thistle and next week’s League Cup final against Ross County.
He said: “It’s been frustrating as well as disappointing but in the bigger picture nothing has drastically changed. We haven’t over-reacted. We’ve had three defeats and they’ve come in a short space of time. I’m glad they haven’t come over three weeks when we would have had more time to think about itl
“It’s been a quick impact. We gave the palyes a couple of days off after the game because that had been nine in 30 days, I don’t think any team in the whole of Britain has played moer games than us. It’s been a bbig ask but I’m not saying that’s the reason why we’ve lost the three games because we could eeasily have won them.
“I have to say that, overall, I’ve been really happy with the way they have been performing. They’re not playing badly. They’ve made a couple of mistakes that they’ve been punished for and we haven’t taken our chances at important times in the games.”