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Last Updated: Monday, 16 April 2007, 14:41 GMT 15:41 UK
Hibs players apologise to Collins
Hibernian manager John Collins points the way forward
John Collins appears to have quelled dressing-room dissent
Hibernian's first-team squad have made a public apology for dressing-room dissent against manager John Collins ahead of the Scottish Cup semi-final.

A delegation of players met chairman Rod Petrie to complain about training methods and team selection.

But captain Rob Jones has now issued a statement after a meeting with Collins.

"We apologise to the management, supporters and board of the club for any distress or embarrassment that has been caused," it said.

Players were circumspect in their words of support for Collins before and after Sunday's 0-0 draw with Dunfermline in the Scottish Cup semi-final.

And, following rumours that some players could face the sack, Collins told BBC Sport: "It's not been an enjoyable week, not a pleasurable one, but it's over and we have drawn a line under it.

"Of course I was disappointed, very disappointed but, as I say, it's gone now.

"We will move on and learn from the experience and we have still got so much to play for."

At no point did the players ask for, or seek in any way, the removal of the management

Hibernian captain Rob Jones

Collins and assistant manager Tommy Craig met with the first-team squad on Monday.

And Jones issued the formal statement claiming that the matter had now been resolved.

"The first-team squad met with the manager and assistant manager today," he said.

"The meeting was very positive and I am speaking for the squad when I say that we are all very happy with the outcome.

"We will not be going into detail about the content of that meeting - that should stay in the dressing-room.

"However, we would like to take the opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to the club and state our 100% backing for the management team.

"While we accept that the actions of the players have generated a huge amount of media interest, as a squad we were deeply disappointed that someone chose to make the issue public.

"While we understand that, we believe it is important to set the record straight in one important regard.

"At no point did the players ask for, or seek in any way, the removal of the management.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

"I would like to reassure everyone that this will never happen again as long as I am in the dressing-room."

When asked if the events of last week had soured his first six months in the job, Collins said: "To be perfectly honest, yes I suppose it has a bit.

"But the CIS Cup win three weeks ago, the pleasure that brought me and many other people - that's what you've got to focus on.

"Close your eyes and remember the special moments.

"Those are the ones you go through the tough periods to get to - those special moments.

"Not too many managers have had those times, leading their team out to victory at Hampden, to a special victory - so, I've had that feeling.

"The turmoil and the hard work and the hassles and the abuse - it was worth it just for that one special moment alone."

SEE ALSO
Craig plays down Hibernian rift
16 Apr 07 |  Hibernian
Collins bemoans slack finishing
16 Apr 07 |  Hibernian
Hibernian 0-0 Dunfermline
13 Apr 07 |  Scottish Cups
Hogg issues Collins rallying call
14 Apr 07 |  Hibernian
Collins defends management style
12 Apr 07 |  Hibernian


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