Hibernian's Pat Fenlon backs Leigh Griffiths after miss

Hibs striker Leigh Griffiths
Griffiths knows he should have put his team ahead just before half-time

Leigh Griffiths was backed by manager Pat Fenlon after he missed a glorious chance to put Hibernian ahead in their 2-0 defeat against Rangers.

With the game goalless, the unmarked on-loan striker scuffed his shot from six yards out when a low cross evaded Lee Wallace and landed at his feet.

"He is more disappointed that anybody," said Fenlon after his own home debut.

"If you wanted it to fall to anyone, it would be him. He just needs to be a bit calmer. He hit it too straight."

Though Griffiths hit his shot meekly straight at Allan McGregor in the Rangers goal, Fenlon revealed that he and his backroom staff did not criticise the player for his miss.

"There is no point having a go at him," Fenlon told BBC Scotland.

"You want him to be confident that, when the next one falls to him, he will stick it away and not to be fearful.

"He worked hard for us after that."

That chance for the former Dundee forward, on loan from Wolves, came at the end of a poor first half in which Rangers did not once test Hibs goalkeeper Graham Stack.

"We had the best chance of the first half and the best chance of the second," Fenlon said.

"In the second half, we had a great chance off a header at the back post.

Interview - Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon

"In big games against Rangers, you need to take your chances. They have a habit of winning games that are very tight.

"We've conceded two set pieces, which is disappointing, but I don't think other than that Rangers had too many chances in the game."

Hibs' defeat leaves them on 14 points and sharing bottom berth in the table with Aberdeen and Dunfermline.

The new manager was clear what will be required of his players for the remainder of the season and aware of what must be done to beat the drop.

"Over the season against Rangers and Celtic, the team has done well, but they are not the games that we need to be winning at the moment," he said.

"We need to be winning the games against the teams around us and we have a few coming up in the next few weeks.

"If we get that level of performance that we got today and against Motherwell, we will be OK.

"Last week at Motherwell, we played really well and we worked really hard. You've got to do that consistently to get yourself up the table.

"Everybody's playing for their future and that includes me and the staff.

"This is a big football club and we need to be in the Premier League.

"The players know that and they have to work if they want to stay here.

"If they want the club to be successful, they are going to have to put in a shift on the pitch and they have bought into that so far."

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