Hibs boss Neil Lennon has admitted he fears Ryan Porteous could be out of action for a lengthy spell after the defender was forced to limp out of the 1-0 defeat at Fir Park having suffered a recurrence of a knee injury.
Porteous had returned to the starting line-up having sat out Hibs’ past three matches after picking up the initial injury to his left knee during last month’s draw with Livingston.
But he went down after only 28 minutes against Motherwell and was replaced by Sean Mackie. Revealing Porteous’ knee had “popped”, Lennon added: “We don’t know the extent of it.
“Ryan had looked good in training and we wanted to get him back into the side because he has been superb this season. It’s another injury we could do without – it looks more severe this time.”
A goal from David Turnbull two minutes before half-time was enough to earn Motherwell the three points, leaving Lennon to again bemoan the inability of his players to turn possession into goals.
With another striker and wide player a priority before the transfer window shuts, Lennon said: “We had good domination of the game, particularly second half, but failed to score again, Motherwell had a good spell for ten or 15 minutes in the first half. Obviously we had to rejig the team with Ryan going off and it sort of gave Motherwell a little bit of impetus and that’s when they got the goal.
“It was average from us first half, second half was a lot better but we are lacking quality in the final third. We had two or three great chances not just to get ourselves back in the game but to go on and win it and we are failing at the minute.
“Top end of the pitch is where we want to improve, We had a lot of the ball and we are not making the most of it – that’s the frustrating thing. At the minute, I’m not getting the feeling from this team that we are going to score.
“This team in the past I have felt we are on top, we will score. I am not getting that at the minute, there’s a lack of belief. I don’t think we are functioning as a forward unit at times. I don’t think we are working hard enough.
“The one that flashed across the goal a couple of minutes from time, the two of them are on their heels. It was begging for someone to tap it in, not reacting, lashing at things. You work away but it has to come from them.”
Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson was, naturally, delighted with his side’s display, describing it as “night and day” from the weekend defeat by Ross County in the Scottish Cup at the weekend.
He said: “Hibs are a very good side and on their day they can put you to the sword but we deserved the result. There were some very good performances and our energy levels were superb.”
• Hibs will be hoping to take another step towards retaining the SFA Youth Cup when they face Queen’s Park at the club’s East Mains training ground tomorrow night (7pm). Admission is free but spectators can make a donation to the Hibs Academy.