Hibs hit back at St Mirren over Ryan Porteous comments as John Potter makes defensive admission
Hibs assistant boss John Potter has laughed off claims from St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin suggesting Easter Road centre-back Ryan Porteous goes down too easily.
The 22-year-old won a penalty for his side in the second half of the 2-2 draw with the Buddies, incurring the Irishman’s wrath post-match as he claimed Porteous was developing a habit of winning cheap free kicks and penalties.
"I hate moaning all the time about decisions but I can only call it how I see it and I think it was an extremely soft penalty,” Goodwin said.
"Porteous has a habit of winning cheap free-kicks over the years. Some people might say he was clever, but for me the referee needs to see what was going on there and not give a penalty,” he added.
Asked about those remarks Potter replied: “I know Ryan, I work with him every day, and for me it was a stonewall penalty kick. He was being grabbed.
"It’s his job to try and move and get on the end of the ball and he was being grabbed with two arms so it was a penalty kick in my opinion.
“I don’t really pay much attention [to what others say] but it was a penalty for me.
"He was brought down a couple of times last year and they were proven to be penalties. He’s a physical player, he moves well in the box, and he’s a threat to the opposition so he is marked tightly. If people are going to get too close to him and grab him and give away penalties then so be it.”
The Easter Road No.2 also revealed that Porteous, who now has more than 100 games under his belt for his boyhood club, has been tasked with posing a threat at set-pieces and had a headed goal ruled out for offside following Martin Boyle’s intervention as the ball crossed the line.
Potter explained: “Part of our job is trying to create space for Ryan and for him to get a run at it because he is a threat in the opposition box.
"He did that a couple of times at the weekend. He scored one but it was called offside and he got a penalty [against] St Mirren. Ryan’s job at set-pieces is to try and get on the end of things and to try and cause problems.”
The former Dunfermline, Clyde, and St Mirren defender also accepted that Hibs have to work at conceding fewer headed goals themselves.
Four of the six goals the Capital club has conceded on league duty this season have come from headers with Motherwell duo Kevin van Veen and Bevis Mugabi scoring headers as the Steelmen lost 3-2 in the opening-day clash at Fir Park before Paul McGowan for Dundee and Joe Shaughnessy for St Mirren scored late equalisers in 2-2 draws at Dens Park and Easter Road respectively.
Potter continued: “We do constant work. We didn’t lose many, if any, headed goals in the league last season.
"There have been a few [this term] but when we do our defensive work on training there are areas we work on like stopping the cross.
"You can nit-pick when you lose goals, but as a whole we could be better. We’ve told the players that.”