I WOULD like to begin my piece by offering a warm welcome to our new manager Pat Fenlon, who was appointed at the end of last week. I believe I speak on behalf of all Hibs supporters in wishing him the very best and hope he can bring the success we all desire.
Now that the search for a new manager has come to an end, there are some tough decisions to be made with regards to the playing staff, as the current squad is not strong enough to see us through until the end of the season. We now need to steady the ship both on and off the park, where the manager will hopefully be given the opportunity to freshen things up in the January transfer window and bring in some of his own targets.
Saturday’s defeat in Perth was very disappointing considering we had managed to get ourselves in front. But the 3-1 loss only reinforced the frailty that is embedded throughout the team right now, with our last league victory coming over a month ago.
When a new manager arrives at any club, it is most certainly in the players’ best interests to show a hunger and desire that makes it virtually impossible to leave their name out of the team sheet. I am very confident our new man at the helm will give every player the opportunity to impress and field the best starting 11 he feels he has at his disposal. We need the players to show they are up for the battle due to the precarious position we find ourselves in.
The belief amongst the supporters is not only shown by the attendances at Easter Road but also in the travelling support, with only a few hundred making the journey north on Saturday. It can’t be pleasant for the players to see only a small minority showing their support away from the Capital but this is only to be expected.
There is no room for the faint-hearted, as we need to grab games by the scruff of the neck and show we are up for the fight. We must find a victory soon as the other teams around us at the bottom are picking up the odd point here and there.
There will be players at the club who will view Fenlon’s appointment as a fresh start, with a chance to work themselves into his long-term plans. Irrespective of the individuals he sees fit to wear the green and white of Hibs, the players have to try and lift themselves, as football is not a game that carries sympathy. We only have to look back not that long ago when we suffered relegation, which was a travesty felt amongst everyone connected with the club.
The results over the last couple of weeks have proved we are still looking for our best side, with the players that are selected appearing on edge and lacking a sense of belief in their own ability. I understand the task Fenlon and his backroom staff face in overturning the negativity, however, we must stick together and generate some belief that we can get out of the rut we find ourselves in. Now may be the time for one or two of the younger players to step forward into the side and prove their worth. I understand that experience can be vital in a pressurised environment but with youth comes a naivety that can surprise any opposition and lift the crowd.
In truth, I have never taken much notice of results within the youth game, as I believe the most important aspect is discovering a player that possesses the correct temperament to play at first-team level. Players may be able to display a range of tricks that can be pleasant on the eye, but if you fail to walk out the tunnel with a head on your shoulders then there’s every chance you’ll be left wondering what might have been.