Hibs boss Pat Fenlon has insisted that the Easter Road club haven’t received the credit they are due for the improvement made over the course of the past season.
Although the campaign finished with the disappointment of losing a second successive Scottish Cup final and not clinching the top-six finish in the SPL which once seemed certain, Fenlon believes the Capital club is moving forward.
Readily conceding much more work needs to be done, he said: “We know we are not the finished article, but I’m still amazed that people do not think we have improved even although we finished with 19 points more than last year and finished seventh and got to another cup final.”
Fenlon feels that while the majority of Hibs fans appear to recognise those facts, they have been ignored by the wider audience.
He conceded, however, he’d liked to have seen Hibs finish in the top six; an impressive start to the season giving way after Christmas to a run of just one league win in 14 matches, brought to an end with three successive victories over Hearts, Kilmarnock and Dundee. Fenlon pointed out, though, the only defeats Hibs suffered in that time were to clubs which did finish in the top six while eight matches were drawn, claiming that turning a few of them into victories would have made a “massive” difference to where Hibs did end up.
And he claimed the two blatant refereeing errors to which Hibs fell victim in the space of a month – Dundee United’s penalty which led to a 2-2 draw at Tannadice and the Leigh Griffiths free-kick against Hearts which was disallowed despite having clearly crossed the line – had also had an impact on their season.
He said: “I think the United and Hearts games knocked us a little bit in relation to not picking up the points when we maybe deserved them. But I think we have progressed, I think we have done okay.”