PAT FENLON has spoken out about the dark days of May after losing the Scottish Cup Final to Hearts.
After a season-long fight against relegation Hibs misery was completed with a full technicolour humiliation from their city rivals who lapped up every moment at Hampden all through the summer.
Fenlon took over at Easter Road just over a year ago with Wednesday's win over St Johnstone lifting Hibs into second place while Hearts were being turned over by Celtic.
The two clubs meet again on Sunday in the Scottish Cup with Fenlon keen to move on from the 90 minutes that dominated his first year in charge of Hibs.
"I was hurting after the cup final but I'm not sure if it has any relevance to Sunday," the former Bohemians boss claimed. "I think in football, particularly as a manager, I've had some bad days and you learn how to deal with them in different ways.
"After the cup final I locked myself away and didn't want to see anyone for a few days. It's not nice but you have to deal with it. It's difficult because there are other things in your life, people outside the football circle who don't get bothered if you lose a football match.
"I know people judged me after that and I had to get on with that. People had their say and I listened to the comments. That was just motivational for myself.
"I don't let a lot out, I tend to hold it in so I probably dealt with it inside. It's not nice but you have to deal with it. As a manager you're going to have ups and downs and it's how you deal with them that defines you.
"And I think we dealt with it in the right way in relation to what we've done with the club. It was a definitive moment in terms of where the club was, that's certainly true.
"We got back after the game and I spoke to people running the club. That was the time to say: 'That has to change because today has proven how far backwards we've gone'.
"It was important to deal with it and resurrect the club and bring it back to where it should be. And I think we're on track to do that.
"Dealing with it wasn't just about the days after that game but over the entire summer and the changes that we had to make. And I think we're in a good place now. I think we've done okay since. What happened then isn't really relevant to Sunday, as it's a completely different team and the players have proven that.
"The focus should be on them, those players who have turned fortunes in the right direction."
Meanwhile, Neil Lennon is wary of the Cup threat posed by opponents Arbroath.
"Arbroath will create some kind of difficulty for us and we are not taking that game lightly," Lennon said.
"We will assess the squad and will look to give some players rest as they need it for next Wednesday but we will still put a strong team out there for the weekend."