'We're dealing with human beings, not robots' - Hibs chief Ben Kensell has say on fans jeering players

Hibs chief executive Ben Kensell has spoken out after a section of supporters appeared to jeer the introduction of two players during the 2-0 Scottish Premiership victory over Ross County last weekend.

Thursday, 24th February 2022, 6:50 pm

James Scott and Drey Wright were brought on for Kevin Nisbet and Ewan Henderson for the final 15 minutes but there was an audibly negative reaction from some fans when the changes were made.

During an appearance on the Down the Slope podcast along with recruitment chief Ian Gordon, the Easter Road chief insisted that supporting the players would get the best out of them.

In a wide-ranging discussion that covered recruitment, Gordon’s role, and much more, Kensell insisted the fans’ expectations mirrored his own.

"This club should be in the top four consistently, it should be going deep into the cup competitions consistently. Those are the standards we set and I'd be really disappointed if anyone internally wasn't clear on what our goals were and, more importantly, wasn't clear that we could achieve them,” he said.

"I won't hang around if people think fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth is good enough. I'm not here for that.

"I applaud the high expectations the fans have. Where I question them sometimes is in terms of support. We have to support the players.

"Players make mistakes. They're young. We're dealing with human beings, not robots.”

Ben Kensell has urged Hibs fans to back the players and forgive them their mistakes

Appealing to those in the stands to understand that the players wanted to give their all for the team, he continued: “They are going to make mistakes, but I defy anyone who doesn't think that team goes out wanting to be the best version of themselves, win games, and be adored by the fans.

"They don't go out there saying, 'I'm going to sack this off, I’m not going to put the effort in,’ and misplace passes everywhere or miss opportunities'. No one goes out there thinking that. They want to be the best that they can be, and they want to be successful at Hibs.”

While conceding that supporters are entitled to voice their opinions having bought their ticket, Kensell has called on Hibs fans to back the team.

"What I would say is, don't ever mistake the fact that we want exactly the same thing that all fans want, and that's a successful Hibs side that we can be proud of.

"I genuinely believe we're trying to work our way towards that, but we're dealing with young players.

"They are going to make mistakes, but forgive them those mistakes. Support them, and you're only going to get the best out of them if you take that approach.

"If you jeer and boo, what's that going to do to a player's self-confidence? It's going to make them play safe, play it backwards, and not play offensively or attacking like they have been coached by Shaun Maloney.

"Shaun can do nothing from the sidelines on that. He can only coach them during the week, give them the instructions and prepare them for the game. The players' emotions go through a massive rollercoaster when they go out there.

"I'm protective of that because I think people need to understand that support is the way that we're going to get the best out of these players collectively."

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