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Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon receives backing from club chairman

Updated: Thursday, 22 Aug 2013 17:39 | Comments

Pat Fenlon (r) arrived at Easter Road in November 2011
Pat Fenlon (r) arrived at Easter Road in November 2011

Under-fire Hibernian boss Pat Fenlon insists he does not feel any safer in his job, after chairman Rod Petrie gave him his vote of confidence.

The Easter Road chief met with a supporters group on Wednesday night in a bid to suppress their fury following the Edinburgh club's terrible start to the season.

Asked if he felt reassured by Petrie's words, Fenlon said: "It's not relevant from my point of view, I have to be honest.

"I'm not just saying that. I've been at the club for 20 months and I've always had the backing of the club. That's the important thing.

"We're trying to move things forward and we are doing our best to do that."

The former Bohemians manager said the pressure from the fans will not ease until results start improving on the pitch.

"The stuff on the pitch is at the top of the list and as a manager, I know that you have to get that right. If you don't, the inevitable happens," he said.

"That's why I'm saying that (the chairman's statement) is not that important. What is important is that we get back on a run. We have some real good players and we just need a bit of luck. We need to click and once we do, we'll be fine."

Hibs suffered Scotland's worst ever European result when they were thumped 9-0 in the Europa League qualifiers by Malmo.

Fenlon's side then compounded that humiliation by losing to city rivals Hearts, as they opened the season with four straight defeats.

Only Scott Robertson's late equaliser against Dundee United on Saturday stopped their wretched run going from bad to worse.

Fenlon has faced growing anger from supporters but Petrie, despite admitting to being embarrassed by the horror show against the Swedes, has given the Dubliner his backing.

In a statement on the club's official website, a spokesman said: "Hibernian chairman Rod Petrie met with supporters this evening. The meeting was arranged to allow supporters from throughout the Hibernian community to speak directly with the club about any issues.

"Supporters were understandably critical of performances and results, particularly against Malmo at home and at Tynecastle in the Edinburgh derby. Strong words were used, reflecting the passion of supporters and their deep disappointment."

The statement goes on to read that the club have faith in the 44-year-old and his players to turn things around at the club.

"The chairman said the board and the club are keen to give the players and the manager every opportunity to deliver improved performances and through that, win matches.

"The players and the manager and the coaching staff need our support and encouragement to strive for that."

Hibernian will aim for their first win of the new season against Kilmarnock on Saturday.

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