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Not good enough – Nick Montgomery understands fan fury as Hibs miss top-six spot

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 13 Apr 2024

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Nick Montgomery admitted finishing in the bottom six is unacceptable for Hibernian after seeing his side surrender a late lead against Motherwell at Fir Park.

Hibs’ prospects looked optimistic as they were set to move one point ahead of Dundee into sixth in the Scottish Premiership as they led Motherwell 1-0 courtesy of Myziane Maolida’s 64th-minute penalty.

But Shane Blaney fired home a thunderous equaliser in the last minute of added time with Motherwell’s first shot on target as both teams saw their top-six hopes came to an end.

The travelling supporters were furious and vented their anger towards the Hibs players and staff at full-time and Montgomery understands their frustrations.

“It’s not good enough for Hibs,” he said.

“You have to earn the right to get anywhere in football. You have to earn the right to get into the top six. As a club we have failed to hit one of our targets and that was the top six.

“The other two were progress in the cups, which we did to a good level. But the big target was to try and get into the top six. I’ve tried everything I can to get there.

“We’ve had stuff that’s probably been challenging for us, but as a club, yeah, we have to look back at the start of the season, before pre-season, and how we’ve ended up in this position where we’re going into the last game 20 seconds away from the top six.

“It’s 20 seconds away from not being good enough and unfortunately the results – last week as well – have gone against us and it’s really hard to explain how that’s happened.”

Motherwell boss Stuart Kettlewell praised the mentality of his side after another late goal salvaged a draw.

And they could even have won it at the death but Oli Shaw fired wide from a few yards out.

“I thought we snatched it at the end,” said Kettlewell. “It’s probably no surprise to myself or anyone in the room as we’ve become renowned this season for playing to the last whistle.

“We want to be ahead in games but we always rally and we have four strikers and two attackers on the pitch at the end – it was all out attack.

“I thought Oli had put the ball in the net, that was my gut instinct, when he got across the front post. But we left it late over the course for the top six but I can only credit my players.

“People had written us off for the top six and looked at us more towards the bottom of the table but we’ve shown brilliant personality and picked up points.”

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