Hibs boss on fronting up to frustrated fans after infuriating County collapse

Goalkeeper Jojo Wollacott and the Hibs coaching staff leave the pitch at full-time in Dingwall. Goalkeeper Jojo Wollacott and the Hibs coaching staff leave the pitch at full-time in Dingwall.
Goalkeeper Jojo Wollacott and the Hibs coaching staff leave the pitch at full-time in Dingwall. | SNS Group
Monty empathises with punters who travelled a long way for zero points

Hibs boss Nick Montgomery sympathised with the travelling fans who voiced their frustration at full-time in Dingwall, as the visitors succumbed to another late collapse in the dog days of a calamitous campaign. On a day when Rocky Bushiri’s first-half mistake cancelled out an early Myziane Maolida goal, back-up goalie Jojo Wollacott – in for the injured David Marshall – gifted Ross County a winner in the closing minutes.

Montgomery took his players to applaud the away fans, as usual, at the end of an infuriating afternoon. And the Yorkshireman appeared to engage with some of the 593 punters giving voice to their feelings.

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Speaking after the game, Monty said: “It wasn’t really a conversation. I understand the fans are frustrated. They travelled today, we travelled today, so you understand that.

“At 1-1 it looks like we’re going to win the game, but it turns on a mistake and the frustration comes. It’s a cumulative frustration because we’ve been here too many times this season.

“We’ve dominated many games and not taken our chances this season, and given away poor goals, and that was another two poor goals today. We can’t excuse the goals we gave away – really, really poor goals, totally avoidable.

“They were avoidable in a game where we could have comfortably taken three points, but credit to Ross County for battling, knocking direct balls and punishing us for it.

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“We appreciate the fans’ effort to travel up here, and we went a little bit closer to them at full time to show them that we appreciate the support. I’m not going to tell you stuff that was said because there was obviously frustration. But we know that we should have won the game.”

Montgomery bemoaned his team’s failing at both ends of the park, but admitted: “It’s easy for me to say we should have won the game. When you have 20 shots on goal, play a lot of good football, hit the post, have one-on-ones with the goalkeeper, if you don’t put those chances away, you know they are going to play direct and make you deal with stuff.

“I thought we played really well in patches, but we’ve been here too many times before. It’s just a mistake late in the game, we get punished for not taking our chances.

“There are always individual errors. But we’re a team, we’re a collective. It’s not fair for me to come out here and point at individuals – because they know the mistakes that ultimately cost you goals. Both goals were more than avoidable.

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“The first is a cross that we know Ross County do, and we just have to clear it. Simon Murray does what he does, he just chases everything and the ball drops to him.

“At 1-0 up, we should have been further ahead, their keeper pulled off a really great save from Myziane, but suddenly it’s 1-1. In the second half we created chance after chance and then a mistake ultimately costs us the game in the end.

“I’m the manager, it’s a collective. It’s a game we shouldn’t have lost, but I’ve said that too many times this season.”

Montgomery said Marshall had picked up a knock in training – and was left behind as a precaution, the gaffer adding: “Hopefully he will be okay for next week.”