Pat Fenlon has admitted he already knows the outcome of Saturday’s SPL clash with St Mirren if his Hibs players produce a repeat of the nightmare performance which saw them crushed by St Johnstone.
The 3-1 defeat saw the Perth club leapfrog Hibs into fourth place in the league. It left the Capital outfit just five points ahead of the Paisley club who are currently second bottom of the pile with the benefit of a game in hand.
The manner of Monday night’s loss left Fenlon bitterly disappointed, the Hibs boss admitting his side lacked the hunger, desire, urgency and determination of their visitors.
The latest setback left Hibs with a miserable record of just one league win in their last ten matches and just seven points having been claimed from a possible 30. Having passed up the opportunity to join Inverness Caley and Motherwell in joint second place, Fenlon knows full well his side now have little margin for error as they seek to secure, initially at least, a top-six finish.
Fenlon is also aware of the perils facing Hibs in Paisley at the weekend, the tightness of the league meaning each and every game comes with a “must-win” tag. He said: “St Mirren are a decent side and if we perform as we did then we know the outcome of it. They are all must-win games. The league is so tight you must pick up as many points as possible and as quickly as possible.
“We have not done that over our last few games and that is disappointing.”
Having once hit the top of the pile as they took their rivals by surprise after two seasons of struggling at the wrong end of the table, Hibs now appear to have hit the post-Christmas slump which has become depressingly all too familiar to supporters over the years, leaving Fenlon to claim that perhaps his side might have made “too good a start to the season”.
He said: “Maybe people were starting to believe the hype which is ludicrous because we are not very far from the other end of the
However, having said that, Fenlon admitted he was at a loss to explain the dismal display against St Johnstone. He added: “We should not have performances like that at this club any more. We have worked too hard and the players have worked too hard and that should not happen.”
Meanwhile, Fenlon revealed David Wotherspoon was left sitting in the stand on Monday night because he felt the midfielder was “fatigued”, a decision he later admitted may have been a mistake on his part.
He said: “I left him out to give him a break. I thought over the last couple of weeks he has looked a little bit
fatigued. Maybe that’s a mistake I made but I just felt speaking to him he was a little bit tired over the last two or three games so we gave him a little break.”