Hibs boss calls for fans to be calm after claiming anxiety from stands was a factor in St Johnstone stalemate

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Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom insists anxiety in the stands played a part as St Johnstone grabbed an equaliser with the last touch of the game.

Saints defender Jason Kerr nodded home in the 94th minute to claim a point as the visitors came from behind for a second time.

The Leith side had been on the ropes prior to Kerr’s header and Heckingbottom insists the tension from the fans had an adverse effect on the team.

There was also anger from the home supporters when they booed Heckingbottom’s decision to replace Scott Allan on the hour mark.

And the former Leeds United manager has implored the fans to do more to encourage the players in future.

He said: “We were trying to get the boys to relax but the whole stadium was anxious and that spread to the players. 

“We are drawing at home and we will draw many more at home this season, without a doubt. It doesn’t help the players – 100 per cent.

“I think they need to encourage more. I don’t want them to draw back because you want to feel the stadium alive.

“But you could see that we were trying to calm them and tell them to stay calm and relaxed, but anxiety was an issue. 

“If the fans can stay calm and if something good does happen, then get behind them.”

Asked about the jeers when Allan was replaced by Daryl Horgan, Heckingbottom, who saw goals from Adam Jackson and Flo Kamberi sandwich an leveller by Saints winger Michael O’Halloran, said: “I didn’t know there was a law against taking him off. 

“No player’s going to play 90 minutes every game. I’ve worked with Scott all week and know what he’s been like. 

“He’s not been at his best in training. He’s played 120 minutes last week (against Morton) and was carrying a knock. 

“I didn’t bring him off because he was injured but he was suffering. That’ll happen.”

 

 

 

 
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