HIBS head coach Neil Lennon has praised Fraser Fyvie for the way he has responded to his Hampden misery.
The former Aberdeen player was substituted after just 33 minutes of the Scottish Cup semi-final against his old club 10 days ago.
The 24-year-old was sacrificed before half-time as, with his team already 2-0 down, Lennon introduced Grant Holt as a second striker in a tactical reshuffle.
Fyvie, who had also been booked, reacted angrily to his manager’s decision and was seen storming off the pitch past Lennon and into the technical area.
The former Celtic boss insisted he did not have a problem with Fyvie’s actions, claiming the midfielder instead deserved an apology from his team-mates for ‘throwing him under the bus’ with their opening to the 3-2 defeat.
And Lennon has hailed the way the former Scotland under-21 cap performed in Saturday’s 4-0 win away to Ayr United in his first game back since the semi-final.
Lennon said: “We were different class on Saturday, we looked a Premiership team.
“I thought some of the football was fantastic, we scored some great goals, and it could have been more against a team fighting for their lives.
“So, the professionalism of the players pleased me a lot.
“We’ve hit the 70-point mark, which was the target for us, and that was very pleasing.
“I thought [Grant] Holt had a great game, all afternoon he was different gravy for a man his age.
“He put a great ball in for [Martin] Boyle’s goal and I thought Boyle was superb.
“And Fyvie had a brilliant game.
“He showed great personality to come back after the disappointment of last week and play as well as that.”
Hibs bring the curtain down on the season with a home match against St Mirren this Saturday that will be followed by them receiving the Championship trophy.
The Easter Road outfit now have a 13-point advantage at the top of the table and are seeking a fourth successive victory when they face the relegation-threatened Buddies.
Lennon added: “We can all look forward to the celebrations. We’re really looking forward to seeing the fans, and I’m sure the players are as well.
“The shackles are off now, they’re playing with freedom, and they’ve earned it.”