Neil Lennon: Hibs should be killing teams off

Neil Lennon barks instructions from the dugout. Picture: Greg Macvean
Neil Lennon barks instructions from the dugout. Picture: Greg Macvean
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Hibs boss Neil Lennon today admitted his frustration at seeing his side throw away another winning position but insisted taking only two points from their last three games is “not a major problem at the minute”.

Hibs had the chance to regain top spot in the Championship after leaders Queen of the South could only draw away at Dumbarton on Saturday.

And they looked on course to do so after James Keatings’ first goal of the season put them ahead against Dundee United only for Tannadice defender William Edjenguele to head home an equaliser.

Again Lennon was left to bemoan his side’s inability to finish off the opposition, saying: “That’s been the story the last couple of games. We were in control and all of a sudden we get really slack under no pressure.

“We had opportunities to go 2-0 up and that would have killed the game off as we were so far in the ascendancy. It’s all our own fault, letting other teams get back in.”

Lennon was also furious that United’s goal had come from a corner when his own side had, once more, failed to capitalise on such situations themselves.

He said: “We should be doing better. We want to get out of this division and players have to deal with the opposition. It’s not a major problem at the minute. Overall we are playing well enough but I think our game management has to be better.

“We were totally comfortable. Paul Hanlon had a great chance to make it 2-0 and we would have deserved it.

“Up until a couple of weeks ago we defended set plays very well and all of a sudden we’ve conceded two in our last three games. It’s something we work very hard on. We have to go and attack the ball.

“Teams like set pieces because it’s a chance to put the ball into our box and we have to stand up to it and deal with it. We have not, and it’s cost us.

“We’ve had so many corners and not converted them. The opposition get one or two and all of a sudden they are scoring. It’s an area we have to address and do better.”

Lennon admitted Hibs suffered from the loss of captain David Gray at half-time, the full-back having taken a knee in the groin from his own goalkeeper as they collided in going for the ball, a situation the Hibs manager insisted could have been avoided by assistant referee David McNiff raising the offside flag earlier. He said: “Instead he lets it run and run, the ball gets into the box and David collides with the goalkeeper.”

Gray’s departure gave new signing Neal Eardley an early introduction to the action, Lennon saying: “Neal hasn’t played much football, he’s not ready yet, he’s undercooked and David had been playing very well.”

Lennon believes, however, that Gray will be fit to face St Mirren in this weekend’s Irn-Bru Cup tie. He said: “There’s a bit of swelling but it’s a trauma injury and hopefully he’ll be okay.”