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Page last updated at 19:00 GMT, Saturday, 25 September 2010 20:00 UK

John Hughes satisfied with Hibernian effort

Hibs manager John Hughes and assistant Brian Rice (right)
Hughes (left) was disappointed to lose goals at the start of each half

Despite a poor start to the season, manager John Hughes was again upbeat after Hibernian's 2-1 loss at Celtic.

"It was a great effort from the boys," he said. "Could we have got at them a bit more in the second half and shown more belief? Aye, we could.

"But Celtic look to hit you on the counter-attack, so the shape had to be solid and we passed it really well.

"It was a good, spirited performance and I felt for the boys not to take anything away."

Hibs fell behind early in the game to a wonderful strike from former Easter Road favourite Scott Brown and lost another goal soon after the interval when a Glenn Loovens header crept over the line.

A fantastic lofted finish from Derek Riordan brought the visitors back into the game but they seldom troubled the Celtic defence.

"My disappointment was the early goals we conceded," explained Hughes. "You need to keep this place quiet for 20 minutes. To concede from a set-piece so early in the second half was disappointing.

"The plan just about worked but that second goal killed us."

Hibs have not won since the opening day of the season and a stuttering end to the last campaign means the Edinburgh side have taken just four victories from their last 27 outings.

However, Hughes was anxious to stress that his team finished fourth last term and is clearly fed up hearing about the long run of indifferent form.

"I'm not taking on board all the crap," said Hughes. "Last year was last year. That's history. That was success for us last year. Now we can start talking about this season's stats.

"This is a very difficult venue. You talk to any other SPL manager and they will tell you anything you get from the Old Firm in their own backyard is a bonus.

"We certainly gave it a right good go.

"What I want is for the pundits to say when we come here that this game could go either way because Hibs are a good, hard-working team with real top quality players.

"We're still a wee bit away from that at the moment."

Riordan, asked to play an unfamiliar lone striker role, showed his class with an exquisite goal and Hughes was pleased with the player's overall contribution.

"You'll be talking about Derek Riordan's goal for a long, long time even though he was on the losing side," added the manager.

"Derek is possibly the only player on that pitch that has that kind of vision and technique.

"He scores goals for us and he worked his socks off up front on his own. I'll be looking for that next week as well.

"He's certainly got the talent and you just need to know how to motivate him. This is his kind of stage."

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see also
Celtic 2-1 Hibernian
25 Sep 10 |  Scottish Premier

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