Hibernian: Neil Lennon defends angry comments after Motherwell draw

By Jane LewisBBC Scotland
Neil Lennon makes no apologies for criticising his players in public

Hibernian head coach Neil Lennon says he has no qualms about criticising his players in public.

Lennon called his team's second-half performance against Motherwell "unacceptable" after they let a two-goal led slip to draw 2-2.

And he insists it is up to him to make sure, "Jekyll and Hyde performances don't happen on a regular basis".

"There's no point in shading over a poor performance," Lennon told BBC Scotland.

"It's a collective string of consistent mistakes; decision-making that has to change. It has to be better. It's not like they are young boys, there's a lot of experience in that team.

"I just make high demands on the players because I think they can reach them."

The Hibs boss said his players were at the club's training centre on Sunday for a recovery session ahead of Tuesday's League Cup quarter-final with Livingston, and to analyse Saturday's draw.

The Northern Irishman said his players "agreed entirely with what I said" after the draw with Well.

"They know they let themselves down, but they are over it now and looking forward to a big game in the context of the season, which we'll approach in a positive manner," Lennon said.

"Whenever we've had a disappointing or adverse performance I've always had a decent bounce back from this group. I like this group of players but sometimes they just throw one in from left field and you're like 'where does that come from?'

"Sometimes they are Jekyll and Hyde, they are really good for long periods and then all of a sudden a malaise sets in and they can't seem to lift themselves out of it.

Anthony Stokes celebrates
Anthony Stokes scored twice against Well but the striker's work was soon undone

"We need to rectify that or try to rectify that and make it better."

Lennon has publicly criticised his players in the past and insisted it is something he will never shy away from.

"If a player is willing to or not willing to accept the criticism then that's down to him, what I'm looking for is reaction," he added.

"I want to see some character because it's not acceptable the mistakes that were made on Saturday from players of that level. I expect better."

While he is ready to alter things for the visit of Livi on Tuesday, Lennon said he will not make "wholesale changes".

"It's important for our club and for me personally and the players to get to a semi-final," he added.

"There's only two real opportunities, the league may be beyond us, to win [a trophy]. We've done pretty well in the two cup competitions in the last couple of years and I'd like to keep that going."

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