Hibs boss will demand a reaction following Aberdeen collapse

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Hibs head coach Neil Lennon admits he will demand a reaction from his players in Saturday’s visit of Ross County after describing the Aberdeen loss as the worst of his reign.

The Leith outfit were defeated 4-1 at Pittodrie in last weekend’s televised encounter after being 3-0 down at the break.

A testing run of fixtures that has included games against the Old Firm has seen Hibs collect just one victory from their last six Premiership matches.

That has allowed city rivals Hearts, who are fifth, to close the gap from 11 points to three and former Celtic manager Lennon expects his players to make amends when the Staggies visit.

He said: “I’m looking for a reaction, we can’t play any worse. It put a real dampener on what’s been a pretty good season so far.

“It’s not like us, it is concerning? Yeah, a performance like that is concerning and will see see it again? I certainly hope not.

“That’s the worst by a long, long way I’ve seen since I’ve been here.

“I don’t think anyone would have seen that coming, I’m been in the game a long time and I don’t think anyone would believe that turnaround in a couple of days.

“As soon as we conceded the goal we completely capitulated and gave up and that’s totally unacceptable.

“I apologise to the supporters who travelled all that way to endure that.”

Lennon admits he was particularly disappointed that none of his players showed any leadership to guide the team through Saturday’s poor performance.

He added: “There was not one to take the team by the scruff of the neck and say, ‘lets weather this storm and see it out and go again’.

“Even in the second half you’re looking for a bit of a spark and character and didn’t have that.

“We lacked discipline and I have not seen that since the day I walked through the door.

“We felt we had a strong team out and playing with confidence.”

Defender Liam Fontaine and attacking midfielder Danny Swanson, meanwhile, have taken a significant step forward in their bid to return to competitive action after each playing for an hour in Tuesday evening’s 3-0 victory over St Mirren for the Under-20s.

Fontaine, whose only two appearances so far this season have come in the Betfred Cup in July, suffered an angle injury in a development game in September and was forced to undergo surgery.

Playmaker Swanson has not featured since October’s home loss to Aberdeen having been hampered by a knee problem.

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