Shaun Maloney expressed his pride in the Hibernian players after getting his managerial reign off to a winning start against Aberdeen.
Defender Ryan Porteous sealed the win, which lifted Hibs to fifth in the Cinch Premiership, with a second-half header in a tight contest.
After only having two days to work with the players following Sunday’s physically and emotionally draining Premier Sports Cup final defeat to Celtic, new Hibs boss Maloney was delighted with his team’s output.
Maloney said: “I’m very proud of the players because they played the way they did after two sessions, showing bravery.
“The second half, the way they defended in the last 15 minutes was incredible, considering what had happened in the final.
“They were incredible, really, when you consider that they put in at Hampden.
“The staff have worked really hard – but the players have been really, really open minded.
“I didn’t really feel pressure. I just felt like it was part of the process.
“I’m really happy, the chairman (Ron Gordon) is delighted.”
The win came just hours after it was confirmed that the three-week winter break would kick in after the Boxing Day fixtures following First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement on Tuesday that outside events would be limited to only 500 spectators.
Maloney added: “We’ll see what the protocols are but generally it kind of makes sense.
“It’s a shame that the Boxing Days games are curtailed to 500. But that’s where we are.
“The fans are so important to the finances.”
Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass, meanwhile, was frustrated his team could not maintain their recent good form.
He said: “It’s disappointing. Any time you lose is disappointing.
“We looked like we lacked a bit of energy, which was the biggest disappointment.
“We should have been fresh off the back of three wins.
“The game was really scrappy, with not a huge amount of chances
“I don’t think Hibs really deserved to win but they got the goal from the set piece. Neither team did enough in open play.”
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