Darren McGregor 'sore' over red card role in Hibs' European exit
A devastated Darren McGregor has refused to shy away from the role his sending off played in Hibs European exit.
According to his manager, Jack Ross, the experienced defender, who started the game in place of concussed captain Paul Hanlon, knew he had no recourse after he left his team-mates short-handed in Croatia with the scoreline all square. They went on to lose 4-1 (5-2 on aggregate).
“Those who know Darren and know how committed he is will know he is sore at the moment. He had no complaints about the two cautions. The second came when we were in the ascendency and in possession of the ball then we were turned over and he was forced to give away the free-kick.
“Mistakes happen and it’s our response to it as a group that will be key. He knows because he’s honest that it had a major bearing on how the game unfolded.”
Kyle Magennis had scored in the 55th minute to cancel out Domagoj Pavicic’s opener. But the Croatian’s made the most of the extra man and netted another three, with a double from Issah Abass and one from Denis Busnja.
“It was a difficult team at a difficult venue. We had to withstand pressure in the first half but we still made their goalkeeper make saves. We felt we had maybe come through the worst of that when we conceded.
“Then it’s about our reaction in the second half and that was good. We started the second half well and scored a good goal and at that point, in truth, I felt we were in the ascendancy and looked like the better team.
“The red card had a bearing and the fact we conceded so quickly after that had a bearing on the match and it became very difficult for us.
“There was a real strong belief we could progress. The players have earned the right to believe with their performances over the past 18 months. So, we are sore because the scoreline looks like we got a doing. We didn’t get that. It was just the manner in which the last part of the game unfolded for us.”