Lewis Stevenson addresses ‘lack of effort’ accusation made against Hibs players

Lewis Stevenson says the Hibs players must “give it everything” between now and the end of the season, as he addressed recent criticism about lack of effort.

Monday, 18th April 2022, 3:09 pm
Updated Monday, 18th April 2022, 8:13 pm

It wasn’t something that anyone in a green and white shirt could be accused of against Hearts at Hampden, but some supporters had levelled that very same at players in the defeat at Tynecastle the previous week. It stung.

“It’s the worst criticism ever,” Stevenson acknowledged. “Not good enough or lacking quality [is one thing], but when your character and effort gets questioned, for me that’s the most frustrating thing you can label with. It’s maybe more of a mindset than anything else, but [against Hearts] everyone gave everything they had.

“I think at this club the fans just want us to give everything we’ve got. That’s the least you can ask when you put on the strip and play. Maybe at times it looks like we’ve not done that. I don’t think that could be labelled at us [in the semi final]. It could have been a lot different.”

Lewis Stevenson believes there are some positives to take from the performance at Hampden, but the result "hurts".

The 34-year-old has seen it all during his long tenure at Easter Road. He reckons manager Shaun Maloney is frustrated by “small things” in games, but insists the squad are buying into his methods.

“We support everything he is doing,” added Stevenson. “It’s been different but we have all taken it on board and I just think the frustrating thing for him at times is the small things in games. Sometimes it almost looks like a lack of effort, which can’t be labelled at us [in the semi final at Hampden].

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“We’ll give it everything as players until the end of the season in the last five games. We want to finish as high as possible and hopefully that will stand us in good stead for next year.”

Lewis Stevenson goes into battle with Hearts defender Craig Halkett at Hampden

Back in central midfielder on Saturday, Stevenson produced one of the stand-out performances for Hibs in the 2-1 Scottish Cup semi-final defeat at Hampden. It was his tenacity and composure to rob Toby Sibbick in a dangerous area and pull the ball back from the touchline for Chris Cadden that created the goal – less than two minutes after Hearts had gone two ahead.

Stevenson has been used in central midfield a few times by Maloney. He played very well away to Rangers at Ibrox and away to Arbroath in the Scottish Cup, so it was no surprise to see him make an impact in that role again. At times, he has been used at left centre-back, others at left wing-back.

He was an unused sub in the 3-1 derby defeat the previous week at Tynecastle, but was one of the five changes made by Maloney for the game at Hampden along with Ewan Henderson, James Scott, Paul McGinn and Ryan Porteous.

Stevenson added: “Obviously I was playing midfield. We’ve got a lot of boys injured, so it must be frustrating for the gaffer who has not had his full squad to pick from. James Scott and Hendo came in and I thought they were outstanding. Jimmy did everything we wanted him to do and more. There’s things we can take out of the game that are positive, but it is a hard one to take.”

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