Colin CALDERWOOD today admitted Hibs were a shadow of the team he wants to see at Easter Road, saying his side simply didn’t compete in the opening 45 minutes against high-flying Motherwell.
An angry Hibs boss didn’t spare his players following their insipid first-half performance, demanding that they begin producing the “bravado” he sees in training on a daily basis on match days.
Agreeing whole-heartedly that Stuart McCall’s side fully deserved their win courtesy of Jamie Murphy’s eighth minute header, Calderwood said: “We are angry, angry at ourselves.
“We did not get any kind of performance in the first 45 minutes, we got ourselves behind so we only have ourselves to blame for getting into that situation.
“We were a shadow of any side I would want to think as representing Hibernian Football Club. When you wear the shirt and cross the line you have to be ready to play. It seemed that one or two were there but did not want to play.
“It is simple, if you don’t show for the ball you make it difficult for your team-mates to pass. There were too many who didn’t support going forward or work hard getting back. That’s the facts of it.”
Calderwood described the goal conceded as “a shocker, as bad as any goal in the SPL today I will guarantee,” and conceded his players deserved the jeers they heard resound around Easter Road both at half-time and at the final whistle.
Insisting he’ll continue to back his players, who have now won just two of their opening 11 matches and lie just one point above basement club Inverness Caley, Calderwood insisted that at the same time he can’t protect them from the ire of the supporters.
He said: “I think you have to expose them to the criticism they deserve on occasions. They’ve had criticism walking off at the end and at half-time and the moans and groans when we misplaced passes and that’s something that’s deserved and they know that.”
Although Hibs showed a marked improvement after the interval they did little to threaten Darren Randolph’s goal and could easily have conceded more, with Motherwell hitting the woodwork twice through Keith Lasley and Michael Higdon.
Higdon was also denied twice by Stack, the Hibs goalkeeper producing a stunning double-save on the second occasion to give his side the hope of an equaliser which, although he’d have welcomed it, Calderwood admitted would have been rough justice on the Fir Park outfit, who are now three points clear in second place.
He said: “Motherwell were terrific in the first half, that was obvious for everyone to see and that alone makes them deserved winners.”
Meanwhile, Hibs’ Under-19 side bounced back from their controversial derby defeat by Hearts to dump Dundee United 3-0 with Alex Harris claiming two goals after Dean Horribine had opened the scoring.