James McPake: I loved playing for Hibs

James McPake, left, will not be at Hibs next season. Pic: Robert Perry
James McPake, left, will not be at Hibs next season. Pic: Robert Perry
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Released Hibs defender James McPake today revealed he was “gutted” to be leaving Hibs, admitting that he “loved” playing for the club.

McPake was told by manager Terry Butcher this morning that he would not be kept on at Easter Road following the Hibees’ relegation to the Championship.

As he left East Mains after a meeting with Butcher, McPake said: “The manager has told me I won’t be part of his plans. I am gutted. I loved playing for this football club. I had some good times and some very bad times as well, but I am disappointed I did not get the chance to help the team stay in the division.”

When asked if he thought the current squad would be “gutted” by Butcher, the defender said: “I do not know, that’s entirely up to him. I do not know what he will do. The blame has to lie with the players because we got the club relegated but it’s not entirely down to the players.”

Kevin Thomson also joined McPake out of the exit door at Easter Road. Like McPake, his deal with the club ends this month and Butcher decided not to keep him on.

“Everyone knows how much I love this club but the manager has a different opinion to a lot of people so I have to respect that” said Thomson. “It’s only natural the way he has been with me over the last six or seven months since he came in.

I would like to think I have tried my best when I was in the team and put on some foot performances. Unfortunately yesterday [the defeat to Hamilton in the Premiership play-off] was not one of them.

“But it is hard to judge someone on one game of football.”