Neil Lennon adamant Hibs didn’t deserve Aberdeen defeat – and says team will turn corner

Neil Lennon displays his frustration on the touchline
Neil Lennon displays his frustration on the touchline
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Neil Lennon insists Hibs didn’t deserve to lose to Aberdeen as he backed his misfiring squad to get back on track after the international break.

The Easter Road side slipped into the bottom six for the first time since returning to the Premiership in summer 2017 after losing 1-0 at Pittodrie. Gary Mackay-Steven scored the only goal of an evenly-contested match following a lapse from teenager Ryan Porteous in the first half, but Lennon felt his team should have had something to show for their efforts after a second-half display in which they had the better of the possession and the chances. Hibs’ failure to find an equaliser means they have now lost three of their past four games and haven’t scored in their last three.

“We missed three good opportunities to get back in the game in the second half, I don’t remember my goalkeeper having a save to make, and we lost a sloppy goal,” said the Hibs manager. “I thought we were good value for at least a point and it’s frustrating as we are going through a blip at the moment but I’m confident we will come through it.

“To be fair to the players we’ve played five of our last six away from home and three have been at Hearts, Celtic and Aberdeen. The only disappointing performance was St Johnstone last week.

“This game ebbed and flowed but we didn’t deserve to lose tonight, that’s for sure. We go away really disappointed as the performance was not reflected by the result. We are not getting what we deserve at the moment, that’s for sure.

“We’ve got a few injuries but they will be back after the break and we will be stronger but it’s three games in a row where we haven’t scored and we have to put that right. But there’s not a lot wrong so I’m not going to whip the boys for that.”

Porteous saw an attempted pass to Lewis Stevenson intercepted by Mackay-Steven who then drove home the only goal of the game from outside the box.

“We’ve got possession of the ball, Ryan doesn’t need to play the ball,” said Lennon. “Why he is playing the ball to Lewis when he has time to come forward, I don’t know. It’s maybe inexperience as he could just have stepped in but he has picked the wrong option and Lewis has been caught out.

“Ryan made a mistake but he is a strong character and the players owed him as they had enough chances to get him out of trouble and didn’t take it.”

Mark Milligan captained the team in the continued absence of injured duo David Gray and Paul Hanlon and the Australian was arguably Lennon’s best player. “I have to say I thought Milligan was outstanding, he had a great game,” said the head coach.