Stanton a fan of Fenlon

PA Sport
Boss Pat Fenlon has been praised for leading a vast improvement in Hibernian fortunes
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Boss Pat Fenlon has been praised for leading a vast improvement in Hibernian fortunes

Former Hibernian manager Pat Stanton has hailed Pat Fenlon for sweeping away the deadwood at Easter Road and transforming the club from relegation candidates to Clydesdale Bank Premier League leaders.

Stanton enjoyed a memorable Sunday as his former team moved top of the SPL with a 2-1 victory over Dundee United before he was inducted into Scottish Football's Hall of Fame. Just six months ago Hibs lost 5-1 to Hearts in the William Hill Scottish Cup final after only securing their SPL safety in their final home game of the season.

And Stanton said: "We have had some dismal times but it's picking up. Pat Fenlon had a hard job but the fans and the board have stuck by him. He is maybe getting a wee bit rub of the green here and there, the players are responding and things are looking up."

He added: "Some of the players that were there before quite frankly weren't good enough. The players he is bringing in, particularly the Irish players, he is familiar with them. He knows what they are capable of doing, he is giving them a chance and some of them are taking it.

"If a player is unhappy, he is as well away. If he is not going to do it on the park, he will be a disruption in the dressing room. So it's like any manager, get your own players in, and Fenlon is doing that.

"I would like to see other players scoring goals other than (Leigh) Griffiths, because there will be some Saturdays when he doesn't score. There are guys who go for months without having a shot at goal."

Hibernian's improvement has seen the fortunes in Edinburgh shift dramatically, with Hearts needing to pay a £450,000 tax bill in the coming days just to survive.

"I'm very sorry to see that," said Stanton, who lifted the 1972 League Cup for Hibs. "A lot of friends of mine are Hearts supporters. Hearts will get out of it, but Hibs need Hearts. We can do without them beating us in cup finals, but we need one another.

"Hibs have had their problems in the past and there were times when Hibs might have disappeared, but what would Hearts supporters have had to talk about? And likewise the other way round."

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