Tuesday 26 September 2017

Fenlon hits out at 'soft' Hibernian Cup flops

Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon denied gesturing towards taunting Hearts fans after he was sent to the stand in the final seconds of his team's Scottish Cup final drubbing at Hampden.

A Rudi Skacel double and goals from Darren Barr, Danny Grainger -- from the spot -- and Ryan McGowan had Hearts on easy street.

The one-sided game saw Hibernian defender Pa Kujabi sent off just after the break for picking up his second yellow card for a foul on Suso Santana in conceding the penalty which Grainger tucked away.

As the celebrating Hearts supporters mockingly chanted 'There's only one Pat Fenlon', the Dubliner appeared to gesture at them and was sent off by referee Craig Thomson.

But Fenlon denied reacting to his tormentors. "No I didn't," he said. "I made a gesture in relation to the way we were playing. We kept giving the ball away cheaply. I don't know what they were singing to be honest.

"There is a helluva lot made in relation to the gesture but we want to talk about the game, we were well beaten today, they were miles ahead of us and it was a difficult day for everybody."

Fenlon appeared rather confused as to why he was punished by Thomson. "I don't know (why)," he said. "I didn't ask him about that. I didn't get to speak to the referee, he was the last person I wanted to speak to.

"It was frustration with the way we are playing. The referee said it was the police but I spoke to the police who said they had nothing to do with it so it is disappointing."

Hibernian's consolation goal came before the break from skipper James McPake when he reduced the deficit to 2-1. But that lifeline only last four minutes into the second half when Hearts added goals three and four to secure their first cup win in six years.

PROMISED

Fenlon slated his players, who survived relegation from the SPL by the skin of their teeth, and promised changes at the club next season. "I apologise to our own supporters, it was a desperately disappointing day," he said. "We didn't have any players today, it was probably summed up in that (substitute) Eoin Doyle was probably our best player and I don't know how long he was on.

"When you send a team out the least you expect is desire and work rate and we didn't have that today. Sometimes you can have games where you are not good enough, we didn't show any real hunger. There is a softness about the place that we need to change.

"We have to sit down and analyse it but obviously there has to be changes to the type of player we recruit to the club. You think players would be busting a gut to play but we didn't have that today, that's probably what's wrong with the football club at the moment, lack of desire and will to win."

His opposite number on Saturday was also unhappy for different reasons as Paulo Sergio continued to hear silence over his future as manager of Hearts.

Sergio is now out of contract and, with no offer forthcoming from Hearts, he is poised to return home to Portugal to await developments.

"To be honest with everybody, I don't know if I'm going to be here or not," Sergio said. "Everybody knows I would like to stay but until this moment I don't have anything. In this situation what I have to do is to book a flight and return home and see my daughters. That's what I'm going to do. I'm here, people are here, but nobody has said anything until this moment, so it's not to me that you have to put the question. I'm not happy with this situation. I'm happy with our supporters, with our players, with all we did together in this season in hard conditions.

"But I think in a moment like this that things should be more clear. They are managing the club, they do what they want, what they think is normal to do. For me, we are losing too much time."

The uncertainty means Sergio has been unable to plan for the new campaign, which will include Europa League football. He added: "Of course, normally I would have everything done in this moment. I have nothing done in this moment for next season."

Irish Independent

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