The headlines over the past few days have been all about the brawl at the end of Hibs’ game against Morton, and I’ve got sympathy with both managers over the way the fallout has been portrayed.
For me, it was just a case of passions running high in a big match and both managers getting a bit carried away in the heat of the moment. These things happen in football. I can understand the reaction of both Neil Lennon and Jim Duffy.
When the dust eventually settles, I’m sure both of them will regret certain things, but you certainly won’t catch me slaughtering either of them. I’ve been in the dugout before and, believe me, it feels like your whole life depends on what happens in the 90 minutes, so it’s easy to behave in a way you might be a bit embarrassed about when you look back on it.
Neil has kept the pot boiling a bit with his comments on Friday, but I’m totally comfortable with the way he’s conducted himself. As long as it doesn’t overstep the mark, I always like to see a manager show his passion and speak their mind. I actually think we’ve lacked a manager like that with the killer edge and the burning desire to succeed. As a club, we’ve not had the type of grittiness that Neil has brought to the party. He doesn’t suffer fools on or off the pitch, and I’ve got no problem with it.
He’s a passionate man and I think part of his frustration over the last few days will stem from the fact he’s just desperate to get promotion secured. He knows that, if he can get us up, and with the support rallying behind the club, there’s a real chance for him to do something special here.
The inconsistency of the last few months will be infuriating for him because we just can’t get any momentum at the moment. We’re making it hard for ourselves but it’s looked for some time like we were going to fall over the line rather than win it in style. Everybody probably feels like the league’s tied up but it would be nice to get it secured at the earliest opportunity just so we can relax.
If we win at Morton on Saturday, even though it wouldn’t be over mathematically, I think that would be us pretty much over the line because no-one will realistically be catching us from there.