Hibs’ humbled first-team squad will replay their second-half capitulation at Livingston over and over again before getting the chance to put it right against Kilmarnock, admits goalscorer Daryl Horgan.
The Irishman put Neil Lennon’s side in the driving seat on Saturday with a smart finish at the end of a goalmouth scramble. Having edged proceedings in the 52 minutes prior to the opener, it looked like the visitors were going to take full command of the match and secure all three points.
Instead, Livingston came back with a vengeance. Shaun Bryne netted a superbly-taken equaliser six minutes later. The hosts then missed another couple of chances before Scott Pittman dodged two challenges and fired past Adam Bogdan to clinch a 2-1 win.
Hibs failed to trouble their hosts in the rest of the game, which was a troubling but fitting end to what had been a performance lacking in cohesion and inspiration. Though Horgan couldn’t put his finger on exactly why the side had played so poorly, he insisted they would be hurting over the international break.
“First half I thought we were comfortable and in control,” he said. “A lack of quality in the final third was the killer for us, really. We looked very solid and got the goal, but we weren’t good enough, to be honest.
“Sometimes football goes that way. You’re flying high one minute and then you get a sucker punch a couple of minutes later. The game changes on those moments. They were sloppy goals to give away when we were so comfortable.
“We’re disappointed and unfortunately we’ve got a long break to obsess about it, think about it. We’ll have two weeks of that and then hopefully put it right against Kilmarnock.”
On an individual level, it’s been a promising start for the 26-year-old, who signed a three-year contract after agreeing to move north from Preston North End. He’s scored in two of his four games to this point and impressed in the draws against St Johnstone and Aberdeen.
Prior to Saturday’s clash, Horgan was called up to Ireland’s provisional squad for the UEFA Nations League clash against Wales and friendly with Poland. Yet plaudits mean very little to the player when he’s unable to help his new club win.
“It’s a bit of a downer at the minute,” he said when asked to consider the start to his Easter Road career.
“Listen, it’s gone OK. We haven’t won a game in the league, but in the other two games I’ve played we’ve played well.
“I had to get regular game time anyway, for my own sanity if nothing else. To come up and get the opportunity here has been fantastic. Hopefully we’ll have better days but at the minute it’s just a tough one to take.”