Steve Kean 'had a wee feeling' Hibs were going to beat Molde as head coach hails strong team display

Steve Kean had an inkling Hibs would knock Molde out of the UEFA Youth League – but admitted he was a little disappointed not to have won the tie in regulation time.

Hibs needed penalties to defeat the Norwegians with the scoreline tied at 2-2 after both legs, but the Easter Road side scored all five penalties with Murray Johnson saving from Johan Bakke to send the Hibees through to a second-round encounter with French side Nantes.

"We’re delighted for the players to have won that after what they put into the game; the effort, and the determination. Everyone had cramp at the end of the game but managed to squeeze out some more energy to get it over the line so we’re delighted for them,” Kean told the Evening News after the match.

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"After the first leg we were confident that if we could get them back at Easter Road with the fans and on our surface rather than a synthetic pitch that we could take care of them.

"I’m slightly disappointed we didn’t manage to do it in normal time but we showed good composure in the shoot-out.”

Hibs looked to be heading through in regulation time after Jacob Blaney and Malik Zaid had turned the tie on its head but Martin Tornes forced penalties with his late headed goal levelling the tie on aggregate.

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"There were a lot of really good individual performances but it’s hard to pick them out when it was such a strong team display,” Kean continued.

"We see something special in every single one of the players but I thought it was a really good team performance.”

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Steve Kean was delighted with Hibs' team performance

Kean also had words of praise for the 3,130 fans who backed the wee Hibees to victory.

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"They made such a difference and it was great to see the senior players and staff here as well. It gave us a bit of an edge and put a different atmosphere on the game.

"Sometimes you just feel it before games, that you’re going to get it over the line and that feeling’s been there since a few days ago.

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"We’ve been practicing penalties every day – they were never as good as that, but the five boys we selected showed great composure and it was a great save from Murray too.”