Fenlon confident Hibs can survive

PA Sport
Pat Fenlon
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Pat Fenlon

Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon appears to be attempting to invoke a siege mentality by claiming many in Scottish football are enjoying seeing his side in danger of relegation from the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

Hibs travel to Aberdeen on Wednesday, three points clear of bottom club Dunfermline with three matches to go, including next Monday's clash with the Pars at Easter Road. A seven-point lead has been cut to three after Dunfermline claimed four points from their last two games and, on each occasion, Hibs suffered narrow defeats 24 hours later.

"I think people are happy Hibs are in trouble," Fenlon said. "There's definitely a perception out there that a lot of people want to see Hibs in trouble for some reason, I don't know why."

The fixture schedule has dictated Hibs have played after the Pars for the last four SPL matches, while Fenlon feels his players have been the subject of unwarranted criticism following 1-0 losses to Kilmarnock and at St Mirren in the last two games.

On Wednesday night Hibs and Dunfermline play on the same day in the SPL for the first time since March 24, with Fenlon urging his side to prove their detractors wrong by boosting their survival hopes.

"We're on a level playing field now," added Fenlon, whose team travel to Inverness on the final day of the SPL campaign.

"We've just got to win our own games, it's still in our own hands. We win our next two matches, we're safe. Simple as that.

"I'm not nervous, I'm looking forward to them. Our last two performances have been very, very good. I've been very, very pleased with them. We just didn't get a rub of the green.

"The confidence is okay. It's just a matter of making sure they keep believing in what we're doing and eventually some of those chances will go in for us."

Fenlon could make changes at Pittodrie. Captain and defender James McPake (groin) and Garry O'Connor (foot) are doubtful and could join suspended midfielder Lewis Stevenson on the sidelines.

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