Hibs defender vows to bounce back after being gutted at being hooked at half-time

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Hibs defender Darren McGregor has vowed to bounce back stronger despite admitting that he was devastated to be hooked at half-time in Saturday’s ‘horrendous’ capitulation to Aberdeen.

The centre-half and midfielder Marvin Bartley were replaced by Steven Whittaker and Anthony Stokes following a woeful opening 45 minutes that saw the Dons scores three unanswered goals in a game the Leith side eventually lost 4-1.

There could be more pain to come for the former Rangers and St Mirren player today when Lennon is expected to conduct a video analysis session of the game.

Hibs head coach Neil Lennon slammed his players’ attitude after the clash and claimed that Cowdenbeath could have beaten his team.

But McGregor insists he needs to show the right reaction in training in a bid to keep his place for Saturday’s visit of Ross County.

McGregor, said: “I was as disappointed as everybody being hooked at half-time, it’s not a nice feeling.

“When he told me I was coming off, I just put my head in my hands to be honest, I was disappointed.

“He said that it could have been eleven of us that were coming off but it was just the way he wanted to go, he wanted to bring Steven Whittaker and Anthony Stokes on.

“I was just gutted, I don’t think I spoke for the rest of the second half, I just wanted it on a wee telly in the BT Sport room as the last thing you want to do is bump into opposing fans when you’ve been hooked at half-time.

“The result was horrendous, terrible, embarrassing – whatever you want to call it.

“We’re shamed to have let the away support down as badly as we did, and also ourselves.

“We’ve yet to do the analysis of Saturday, which will be fun. It’s an open floor and people can say what they like and feel and I’m sure the gaffer will have things to say.

“We’re all men and paid professionals and you need to take it on the chin.”

McGregor, who joined the rest of the squad for Hibs’ annual Christmas visit to the Edinburgh Sick Kids hospital yesterday, added: “I’m big enough to admit that it was a bad day at the office but it’s how you respond and react to things like this.

“I just need to use that, bottle it up and try and use it for motivation for the future.

“I’m not sure what the gaffer’s plans will be for the following week in terms of team selection but I just need to make sure I train well and I’m on top of my game and learn from my mistakes.”

Hearts

A run of just one victory in six Premiership matches has seen the Easter Road outfit’s lead over city rivals Hearts be reduced from 11 points to three in a fortnight.

Hibs make the short trip across the capital to take on Craig Levein’s side, who ended Celtic’s 69-game unbeaten record on Sunday, next Wednesday and McGregor insists he is well aware that fifth place Hearts are right on their coat-tail.

He added: “You look at Hearts and they had a tremendous result the other day against Celtic, absolutely tremendous.

“I’ve got a lot of mates that are Hearts fans as well and all you need to do is congratulate them because it was a sterling effort against a really good Celtic side, so fair play to them.

“They are full of confidence at the minute but that’s how quickly football can change.

“You can go from being 11 points clear of them to them being three points behind you – and then playing them in just over a week.

“We need to respond, if you asked fans at the start of the season that come Christmas time, where would you like to be? I’m sure a lot of them would bite your hand off to be in fourth but we want to stay there, if not climb higher.

“We’ve set the bar high and we need to make sure against Ross County and right into 2018 that we keep those levels.”

Hospital 

McGregor admits he was only too happy to play his part in trying to bring some cheer to the young patients at the Sick Kids after revealing how his own children had recently needed medical attention at the hospital.

He added: “Things like this give you perspective. It was not too long ago my daughter Mila was in here, she jammed her nail in a door and we brought her in for a couple of hours and service you get provided by the NHS is just first class.

“My wee boy was actually in two weeks before that as well with a wee bit of dehydration and a sickness bug.

“It’s such a shame that kids are in here over the Christmas period but hopefully us being here cheers them up.”

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