Lee Johnson brands Hibs display against Ross County 'worse than mediocre' and says fans were right to boo team
Hibs manager Lee Johnson admitted his side’s performance in their 2-0 defeat by Ross County at Easter Road was nowhere near good enough.
Goals from George Harmon and Alex Iacovitti gave Malky Mackay’s side all three points as the hosts put in a lacklustre display and failed to really trouble Ross Laidlaw in the Staggies goal.
Speaking afterwards Johnson said: “In the last home game against St Mirren the players were sevens and eights in terms of ratings but tonight they were threes and fours — but it’s the same for me.
"It was nowhere near good enough, it was disappointing. I put out a young team out to be energetic, technical, and bright on the ball and I thought we lost control in the goalmouth.
"We can control the game on and off the ball but in the final third we were schooled by two senior centre-halves physically and tactically. We did a lot of work around the edges and let them off the hook far too many times. We conceded two goals from positions where we had the opportunity to be organised and at any level of football that costs you.
"But there were a lot of things that cost us in this game. We deserve the criticism that will come our way and all we can do is rally and build a bit of a platform in a performance. It will have to be a dogged one because clearly we're not doing enough on the ball when we have space and control.”
Johnson and his staff are eagerly awaiting the return to action of players such as Kyle Magennis, who missed the match with a hamstring tweak, Aiden McGeady, Kevin Nisbet, and the talismanic Martin Boyle. Also missing were Lewis Miller, Harry McKirdy, Jake Doyle-Hayes, and Momodou Bojang.
"‘I think there are a number of things we need during the World Cup break. We've dropped too many points against sides we should be taking points from. If we want to be successful we'll need to sharpen up during the second half of the season.
"If we’re looking for a positive spin, there are a lot of good players to come back. We were without Kyle, Aiden, Kevin, and Martin, who are pretty good players when they're fully fit. Sometimes three or four of those guys flying can be the difference between mediocrity, and at the moment we're not even mediocre, and turning the tide and making better decisions on the pitch with more quality.
"I don't want to hail those boys as heroes because most of them have hardly kicked a ball yet but they are high quality players and on a budget like ours you need your high quality players. I knew Martin would be a big miss. He's unique, a difference-maker. Even trying to create a numerical advantage, we just didn't have enough."
Johnson continued: "I want way more charisma. You've seen us play well – the home win against St Mirren was a good game for us. We were at home, playing a side that's bottom of the league, albeit buoyed by a good win, but we've not done anywhere near enough and we were rightly booed off.”