Jack Ross admitted Hibernian fans were fully justified in venting their fury after his side suffered a seventh defeat in nine cinch Premiership matches away to Livingston.
The beleaguered Easter Road side lost 1-0 courtesy of Jack McMillan’s first-half goal on a night when they had defenders Paul McGinn and Paul Hanlon sent off for second bookable offences in the closing five minutes.
A section of the travelling support called for Ross’ head at the end, but the former Sunderland manager was philosophical regarding the tirade that came his way.
He said: “It’s part of the job. I have done this for nearly 300 games now. By and large I have had pretty positive times as a manager.
“You know you will get criticised and that criticism grows when you are not producing positive results. We’re not doing that right now.
“There’s times where I would be more defensive if I felt the performance was good because everyone judges it on the end result. But tonight all the criticism I receive will be justified because I am in charge of that team.
“That level of performance was not good enough so the criticism should fall upon me.
“We were not good enough in all aspects of our play.
“We started the game well up to the concession of the goal.
“I know we had the immediate chance to equalise (with a penalty, missed by Martin Boyle) but our reaction to losing the goal for the rest of the game isn’t good enough in all aspects – energy, intensity, quality, discipline.
“That all falls on my shoulders. I own it. It’s my team and the team that was on the park for 60 to 70 minutes is nowhere near good enough to win games in the Premiership.”
Livingston boss David Martindale was relieved that some dubious refereeing decisions did not cost his side their victory.
Straight after the Lions went ahead, Hibs missed a contentious penalty after Martin Boyle appeared to go down too easily under a challenge from Tom Parkes.
And later in the game Livingston were adamant Hanlon should have been shown a straight red card for clattering into Andrew Shinnie when he was clean through on goal.
Asked about the Hibs penalty award, Martindale said: “I’ve not watched it back so I’m only going on what people are telling me but the one that was given wasn’t a penalty. Boyle stood on Tom Parkes.
“But there was another one they didn’t get (on Josh Campbell) that probably was a penalty so it’s probably evened itself out a bit.
“I don’t think the ref had any choice but to give the double yellows (to McGinn and Hanlon in the closing stages) but the one on Shinnie (from Hanlon) was a straight red.
“The referee has come out and said he’s sorry if he got it wrong so I’ve genuinely not got a problem with that.
“It is a big win and we are up to ninth now.”
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