Hibs manager Neil Lennon brands his side's finishing "woeful" despite victory over St Mirren
Hibs boss Neil Lennon was delighted to pick up another three points on the road this afternoon but insists his players must be more ruthless in front of goal.
David Gray's 14th-minute header proved the difference at the Simple Digital Arena against hosts St Mirren as Hibs climbed above Rangers into second in the Premiership table with a 1-0 victory.
The Easter Road side, looking to bounce back from the Betfred Cup quarter-final defeat to Aberdeen, started positively with skipper Gray giving them a well-deserved lead.
However, both Emerson Hyndman and Daryl Horgan spurned useful chances to put Lennon's men further in the ascendency prior to the half-time interval.
Hosts St Mirren carried more of a threat in the second half and although goalkeeper Adam Bogdan didn't have a save to make of any real note, Lennon still cut a anxious figure on the touchline as the minutes wore down.
"We’re missing gilt-edged chances and all it does is give the opposition a glimmer of hope. We had to grind it out in the end but we’ve only got ourselves to blame for that because of the profligacy in front of goal," Lennon said afterwards.
"I didn’t think we lacked a cutting edge, I just thought our finishing was woeful. We had two or three great opportunities on the counter-attack in the second half and we picked the wrong pass to put the game out of sight.
"That’s my only real bone of contention with the players. They had a brilliant performance on Tuesday against Aberdeen, which took a lot out of them and you could see fatigue starting to set in. But we’ve kept a clean sheet and it’s another three points and they’re giving me everything at the minute, so I can’t ask for much more other than to put the ball in the net."
Lennon reserved special praise for goalscorer and full back Gray, who was forced off the pitch with a thigh injury midway through the second half. The Northern Irishman was also quick to compliment Efe Ambrose for his recent displays with Hibs having racked up three consecutive clean sheets.
"He’s having a good season Dave," Lennon said. "He got another bang on the thigh and has been suffering from a dead leg which is why he missed out against Aberdeen. But he always just wants to go on and on but we're just worried about how much damage that will do to him. We've got a full week now so hopefully that will settle down.
"Efe's magnificent at the minute. You don't play for Celtic for four years and not be a bad player. Yes, there have been a few high-profile mistakes but we've seen that a lot at Celtic lately. We've given him a home and you can see his class. He's probably one of the best centre-backs Hibs have had for a long time."