Lee Johnson laments Hibs mentality after hairdryer treatment during Livingston loss

Hibs manager Lee Johnson revealed he had to bring out the hairdryer treatment at half-time as he challenged his players to show the required intensity from the start following Saturday’s loss at Livingston.

The visitors were excellent for most of the second period but paid the cost for an ineffective first-half showing and a late goal conceded from a set-piece as Joel Nouble and Ayo Obileye struck either side of a Nohan Kenneh’s first goal for the club.

“I'm really disappointed with our start. We played into their hands. It was a little bit laissez-faire, a little bit casual,” Johnson said.

"It took until half time to get us going and I don't think I should have to do that, chuck out the hairdryer, change the tactics too often to get a performance – which I thought was very good. We attacked the game, we went for the jugular. But there was a terrible moment with a poor goal conceded.”

Manager Lee Johnson with the rest of the Hibs backroom staff during the 2-1 loss to Livingston in West Lothian. Picture: SNS

Johnson admitted many of his players failed to rise to the occasion as Livingston dominated the physical and mental battle before the break.

“You ask a toddler to make a cup of tea, they get burned. A few of ours got burned today,” he said. “I'll be honest, I was disappointed, and it wasn't just foreign players or new players, there was a domino effect of negativity until we got them in and were able to re-frame them. It's a steep learning curve after a really good week.

"We need to train mental resilience. How can Jair Tavares, who has never been exposed to it, have that? Mental resilience comes from having a poor game, reflecting and producing the next time he gets the shirt.”

There were further troubles for Hibs with Elias Melkersen being forced off after just 22 minutes with an ankle injury, which will require an X-ray, while Johnson insists he had to take off Paul Hanlon over fitness concerns.

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"He's only had two 45 minutes and six sessions,” he said of Hanlon. “He was cramping up and a risk of his calf splitting off. Something had to be done. If you look at the goal, Obileye’s got in between [Christian] Doidge and Kenneh. [Hanlon] would have been further down. Rocky Bushiri would have started but he wasn't fit.”

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