Hibs boss Pat Fenlon says players needs to toughen up mentally

Pat Fenlon says he's more than willing to act as a mentor to his players
Pat Fenlon says he's more than willing to act as a mentor to his players
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PAT FENLON today insisted Hibs don’t need a shrink – because he’s the Easter Road club’s head man.

The Hibs boss has admitted his players need to toughen up mentally, conceding he needs to change their mindset and ensure they don’t feel sorry for themselves as they continue to battle against the threat of relegation.

But, he revealed, he won’t be employing the services of a sports psychologist, as he believes that is part of being the manager of a football club.

He said: “I don’t believe in that, to be honest. People make a lot of money out of that side of the game but I do not think it is relevant. As a manager that’s part of your job, to try and get the best out of people collectively and individually and work out how they think, what makes them tick and how they deal with different things.”

Fenlon is in particular desperate to see his players learn to cope with moments of adversity in matches, citing how they abandoned the game plan which had been working so well for them against Motherwell the moment Fir Park striker Michael Higdon cancelled out Isaiah Osbourne’s opener. As in their previous game against Celtic in which they lost five goals, most of which Fenlon believed were self-inflicted, the eventual 4-3 defeat by Stuart McCall’s side was very much down to individual errors, with two penalties conceded thanks to rash challenges.

Such mistakes, Fenlon agreed, were out of his hand, no matter how much work was put in on the training ground, but ensuring his players reacted in the right manner to setbacks was something he was desperate to instil in them.

The Hibs boss said: “When something like that does happen and someone is having a hard time, it’s all about how you react to that and that’s the thing we have to try to change.

“Their reaction to conceding a goal has been poor, something that’s been here for a while. We have to get into the players’ mindset and change that. It’s something we have to eradicate, working with individuals, working with the team.

“Take the Motherwell game. We played well for 45 minutes, then we conceded a goal and what we did previously to that changed. That should not happen. You should say ‘okay, something went wrong but let’s keep going, we’ve done all right till now’.”