20 Sep Happy chappy Neil
Neil Lennon insisted he was a “very happy man” despite seeing his Hibernian side make hard work of Livingston in their Betfred Cup quarter-final.
Hibs eventually prevailed 3-2 thanks to a late Anthony Stokes penalty, but failed to deliver the improvements demanded by Lennon following Saturday’s draw with Motherwell.
The 2-2 draw on Saturday drew scathing criticism from Lennon, but he insisted he was delighted to get through to the final four after seeing off the Championship club.
“I thought we were excellent,” he said. “From an attacking point of view I think we could have scored three goals in the first 10 minutes. We scored two beautiful goals.
“Their second goal was beautiful, there wasn’t much defensively we could do about that, their first goal was poor from us because it was set play which we worked on yesterday but we dealt with it and the character the team showed was fantastic.
“You’re looking at a very happy man here.
“We’re in the semi-final, we got the win, we played good football, we created umpteen chances and thoroughly deserved to win the game.
“It might have been a bit nervy at times but I thought we had good control of the game for long periods.”
The hosts found themselves behind twice in the first half after goals from Alan Lithgow and Raffaele De Vita, but Danny Swanson and Martin Boyle cancelled them out before Stokes’ late, contentious penalty.
David Hopkin was not impressed by the decision from Bobby Madden.
He said: “Some of Bobby’s decisions tonight baffled me.
“I didn’t think it was a penalty. I’ve just seen it on TV again. The linesman didn’t give it, no one did I just think Bobby gave a soft penalty.”
He added: “Some of his decisions were baffling, but I can’t take it away from Hibs, they’re a great side.
“I’m delighted for my whole squad because we came to a very difficult venue and put on a good show.