Terry Butcher slams Hibs’ display

Aberdeen's Willo Flood (8) wins the game with a superb effort just minutes from full-time. Picture: SNS
Aberdeen's Willo Flood (8) wins the game with a superb effort just minutes from full-time. Picture: SNS
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Terry BUTCHER today slammed Hibs’ performance as they slipped to defeat at Pittodrie as “unacceptable”, insisting the display was the worst he has seen since he became manager at Easter Road.

Butcher revealed his players had witnessed his angry side for the first time after a spectacular strike from Dons star Willo Flood four minutes from time clinched the three points for second-placed Aberdeen.

While admitting he felt hurt to have suffered only his second defeat as Hibs boss, Butcher insisted what pained him more was the level of performance produced by his players, adamant they had fallen way below the standards he expected.

He said: “We have not played well, dropped below the standards we have set and probably the worst we have played since Maurice and I came to the club, but sometimes you need a slap in the face like this and a defeat to make you wake up and realise if we fall even a little bit below the level of performance, then we are going to lose football games.

“So from that aspect, we have learned a lot.”

Butcher believes the fact his only defeats, both by a single goal from the top two teams in the Scottish Premiership, the other having come at Celtic Park, did show progress was being made at Easter Road but, again, he lambasted the performance his players had produced. I would have been happy but I am not happy. We didn’t play to the levels we have been playing..

“It was the first time I have had a go at some of them. There were a few scary faces, a few things slammed about. I do not accept a drop in performance like that - so I think they now know they shouldn’t do that again.

“Six games in 20 days is a fair number and this was the worst we have played in that spell. Two defeats away from home to the top two by a single goal still hurts to lose but it’s not too bad I suppose.”

“It was a wonderful strike deserved to win the game. Aberdeen had so much possession but didn’t create too many opportunities second half and you are thinking ‘let’s hold out’. But I am still looking for the three points, Switched the system a bit brouight on two 19-year-olds and an 18-yeare-old which is good for the future but disappointed with the way we played.”

However, Butcher revealed he already has eyes on next Saturday’s home match with St Mirren.

He said: “We’ve got eight days, a good break. We enjoy playing at home. Maurice and I are undefeated at home so we are looking to get back back to Easter Road, back to winning ways and the way we can play.”

He said: “We matched in terms of effort and defending and stopping them from playing, but we didn’t play ourselves. To lose 1-0 at Aberdeen in the last few minutes and not play particularly well, then we have come a little bit of a distance.

“But it still hurts to lose the game in the manner we did. Had we come here and had a right go and forced Jamie Langfield into a few saves and Aberdeen had to defend better then I would have been happy, but I am not happy. We didn’t play to the levels we have been playing.

“It was the first time I have had a go at some of them. There were a few scary faces, a few things slammed about. I do not accept a drop in performance like that – so I think they now know they shouldn’t do that again.

“Six games in 20 days is a fair number and this was the worst we have played in that spell. Two defeats away from home to the top two by a single goal still hurts to lose, but it’s not too bad I suppose.”

“It was a wonderful strike that deserved to win the game. Aberdeen had so much possession, but didn’t create too many opportunities in the second half and you are thinking ‘Let’s hold out’. But I am still looking for the three points, I switched the system a bit and brought on two 19-year-olds and an 18-year-old, which is good for the future, but I am disappointed with the way we played.”

However, Butcher revealed he already has eyes on next Saturday’s home match with St Mirren. “We’ve got eight days, a good break,” he said. “We enjoy playing at home. Maurice and I are undefeated at home, so we are looking to get back to Easter Road, back to winning ways and the way we can play.”