Exclusive Lee Johnson: Hibernian manager says he’s taking fan pressure in his stride after Edinburgh derby defeat | Soccer News


Hibernian manager Lee Johnson insists he has come under pressure from his own supporters in his stride – telling disgruntled fans to ‘keep faith’ in the team.

Johnson’s Hibs side were beaten 3-0 by rivals Edinburgh Hearts in the derby last weekend for their ninth defeat in 11 matches, which has increased the pressure on the 41-year-old manager .

Hibernian’s next challenge is a league visit to Motherwell on Sunday, live on sky sportswith Johnson unresponsive to criticism.

“You have to take it in your stride, you keep focusing on performance and developing individual players,” he said. Sky Sports News in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.

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Lee Johnson’s Hibernian were beaten 3-0 by Hearts

“I make every decision at a football club as if I’m going to stay there forever, because that’s what you have to do to make the best choices.

“At the same time, it’s a big football club, being a manager of a big football club is a privilege – and what comes with that privilege is the pressure of people taking, the noise outside, the social media, the media itself and that’s understandable.

“All I want is for our fans to love watching their team, to believe we can pull it off – which I firmly believe we can both this season and over the next two or three seasons.

“We’re doing everything we can and I’m just asking people to keep faith and trust in the process – it’s actually been quite short in terms of a succession plan and progression in football.”

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 15: Hibs'  Ryan Porteous celebrates after making it 1-0 during a cinch Premiership match between Rangers and Hibernian at Ibrox Stadium on December 15, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group)
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Hibernian have lost nine of their last 11 games

Hibernian’s poor form leaves them in eighth place, four points above the relegation play-off spot, but two points off the top six.

But the ignominy of losing to local rivals Hearts – who went eight points clear of Johnson’s Hibs – led to speculation that Johnson would be relieved of his duties.

But the Hibs boss remains adamant the players and hierarchy are behind him and his coaching staff as they seek to redress their poor league form.

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Asked about the nature of that speculation, Johnson replied: “I’ve been through it. Any manager with 150 games has been through it once or twice, some have been through it 500 times.

“Top managers, throughout history, have always had spells like this and had to get away with it.

“The lines of communication are clear: the players and the board are behind the management and we all want it to work. You have the next chance to prove it, which is our next game on Sunday against Motherwell.”

Boyd: Johnson not solely responsible for Hibs downfall

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Kris Boyd analyzes what’s wrong with Hibernian, who have lost nine of their last 11 league games under Lee Johnston

Sky Sports’ Kris Boyd:

“The pressure is mounting, there’s no doubt it’s there. He has to deal with it every day now because it’s virtually impossible in Scotland to lose nine of your 11 games and Hibs have found a way to do that.

“I don’t look at Lee Johnson and I think he’s solely responsible for this form.

“There’s recruitment within the football club. In the last few games it’s been seven out of 11 starters who have had Jack Ross fired three managers ago. It’s Jack Ross, Sean Maloney and now Lee Johnson in this moment.

“They’re going to have to improve. There’s something about Hibs. Great stadium, great infrastructure, everything around the football club points to a top club in Scotland. But ultimately recruitment has been far from enough .

“The player turnover over the last two transfer windows has involved 22 players – this can’t continue. The squad is bloated which means salaries are high. And for me Hibs are going to have to release a few bodies and then, if they can, add some quality to it.

“There have been a lot of players there who have been there for a long time – and it’s not working out.”


Sky Sports

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