Pat Fenlon today insisted Hibs are not a one-man team – but he’s happy for on-fire hitman Leigh Griffiths to hog the limelight.
Griffiths took his goal tally for the season to 11 with a double against St Mirren, which propelled the Easter Road club top of the SPL table for a second time although, again, their stay lasted barely 24 hours before champions Celtic leapfrogged them despite having to settle for a draw against Dundee United.
Incredibly, Griffiths also hit the post twice and had a late effort ruled out for offside as he mounted his own personal blitz on Saints goalkeeper Craig Samson but, even so, the on-loan Wolves striker scored for the fourth match in succession and made it eight in his last five games.
Inevitably, Griffiths’ astonishing goal rush dominated the after-match discussion, much of which centred on whether Hibs can find a way to keep him at Easter Road when his loan agreement ends in January, with skipper James McPake and fellow striker Eoin Doyle pleading with the club to get the future of their “talisman” sorted out as quickly as possible.
Fenlon revealed that is exactly what Hibs are trying to do, although he conceded that with every goal, interest from elsewhere in the 22-year-old is bound to increase, particularly as Wolves manager Stale Solbakken has made it clear he will happily allow Griffiths to leave Molineux.
Fenlon said: “Leigh is someone we wants to keep and he wants to stay which is great, so we have to make sure we do our work and get that done.”
He also insisted Griffiths’ team-mates are in no way jealous of the attention he is attracting. He said: “We can’t do anything about the headlines, but this is a team which knows it is working hard, working together. I don’t think anyone will begrudge Leigh getting the headlines. I think that is good for him. He is still a young player. I am delighted for him but it was a team effort. We had to scrap and dig in and hang on for the result.”
Griffiths’ latest double – his fourth of the season – maintained Hibs’ unbeaten home record but, according to Fenlon, it was far from his side’s best display. He added: “I don’t think it was a great performance. St Mirren were very, very good first half. Second half we were a bit better although in the last five minutes we got a bit edgy as well and hung on.”
Fenlon was delighted with the application of his players, saying: “They have great character. I think the fans realise they have a team that cares and works really hard for the club and each other. We’ll enjoy it [going top] but we are not shouting from the rooftops.”