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Page last updated at 10:47 GMT, Monday, 27 September 2010 11:47 UK

Michael Hart admits Hibernian deserve to be criticised

Hibernian defender Michael Hart
Hibernian defender Hart is striving to achieve full fitness

By Liam McLeod

Hibernian defender Michael Hart believes the criticism the team and manager John Hughes are receiving this season is deserved after a poor start.

The Edinburgh side's 2-1 defeat to Celtic in Glasgow leaves them with one win in nine in all competitions.

"Everybody's taking stick and deservedly so," Hart told BBC Scotland.

"For a club of this stature we should be doing better but it doesn't lie with the manager; it lies with everybody, though he is getting the brunt of it."

Hibs' solitary victory this season came against Motherwell at Fir Park with an early Europa League exit to Slovenians Maribor compounded by Co-operative Insurance Cup defeat at Kilmarnock.

Hughes has received backing from his peers but has been rounded on by sections of the club's fans.

We know that if we try and defend better, don't concede from set-pieces and take our chances, then we'll be fine

Hibernian defender Michael Hart

"Obviously, the manager gets it because he picks the team, but there are 11 players he puts out on the pitch and predominantly it's down to us to get the results," Hart said.

"I know as soon as we do start to get results, this spell will all be forgotten about as we will eventually turn it around if we keep playing the we are playing.

"Training has been fantastic, which is frustrating because that's going well and we're looking really good but then we're getting cut open in matches.

"We can't keep losing games but we're still trying to do the right things and get victories."

The Easter Road side travel to Perth to face fellow-strugglers St Johnstone on Saturday before the international break and Hart is determined to help kick-start their season there.

"It's a hard place to go but I keep saying that if we play the way we can play, we can beat anyone," he added.

"I saw a lot of encouraging things against Celtic with the amount of possession we had.


"I think all that's missing is scoring goals because they breed confidence. We've had the chances but haven't been taking them.

"We know that if we try and defend better, don't concede from set-pieces like we seem to be doing on a regular basis and take our chances, then we'll be fine."

Hart returned to the SPL in the summer following a frustrating spell with Preston North End.

And the man who had two spells at Aberdeen which book-ended a two-year spell with Livingston, says despite the shaky start to their season, he has settled in well at the club.

"I started finding form and fitness around the Rangers game but I managed to do my hamstring and didn't run or kick a ball for a few weeks," he said.

"I felt a little bit better and sharper against Celtic than I have recently but I'm still breathing a little bit heavier than I could be.

"So, I'm looking forward to getting up to full fitness."

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see also
Celtic 2-1 Hibernian
25 Sep 10 |  Scottish Premier
Hughes satisfied with Hibs effort
25 Sep 10 |  Hibernian
Hibs' Hughes backed by SPL peers
23 Sep 10 |  Hibernian
No Hibs 'fisticuffs', says Hughes
23 Sep 10 |  Hibernian

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