Hibs boss Neil Lennon on draw with Rangers and Ryan Porteous tackle
Neil Lennon admitted Hibs rode their luck as they held on to claim a 0-0 draw with Rangers '“ but insisted to have taken four points from the Old Firm in the space of a few days was 'very pleasing'.
The Easter Road boss revealed he wasn’t overly satisfied with his team’s performance just four days after beating Celtic 2-0 and felt that striker Oli Shaw had passed up two great second-half chances to clinch a third successive victory for his rejuvenated side.
Although Hibs started the game well, Lennon conceded that Rangers had “come on strongly”, leaving him happy that 17-goal Alfredo Morelos had apparently lost his shooting boots as he failed to turn the threat he posed into goals.
Hibs had lost goalkeeper Ofir Marciano to a calf strain after just 12 minutes, his replacement Adam Bogdan pulling off two great saves from Morelos, Lennon admitting he was bewildered by what had happened to the Israeli internationalist in what was only his third game of the season.
He said: “I am delighted with the point. I think we can play better but you have to give credit to Rangers as well. I thought they were very good.
“Adam had two great saves – they were probably the two best chances of the first half, but we had two great chances with Oli. Morelos was always a threat, I was singing his praises before the game but I’m glad he did not have his shooting boots on.”
Lennon admitted his players had looked a bit “leggy” towards the end of the game, a worry ahead of Saturday’s visit from Livingston but he was thrilled to see them keep a third consecutive clean sheet.
He was, though, less happy with a Ryan Porteous tackle on Rangers’ Lassana Coulibaly, a challenge which brought the young defender a yellow card which his head coach conceded could easily have been a red.
“I have not seen it again,” he said, “But that’s an aspect of his game that does not please me and it’s not the way we coach him.
“He has good attributes but perhaps on another day that could have been red. He needs to take that out of his game. I don’t mind tackles, but if you leave the ground you are asking for trouble. Some people say it was a great tackle. I have not seen it again but I was not impressed by it.”
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard was also unhappy with Porteous describing it as a “very dangerous tackle” in anyone’s book.
Gerrard, however, dismissed claims his side should have had a second-half penalty when Hibs substitute Mark Milligan appeared to use an arm to block a Morelos shot. He said: “I don’t think so.
“There was a bit of a lean on to it but the connection was with the shoulder which, I am told, is allowed. I think it would have been soft and unfair on Hibs. I have no complaints.