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More rumours of unrest at Easter Road ahead of crunch game

Reports in the Scottish media suggest that a number of Hibs players are unhappy with Pat Fenlon’s  attitude and the way he goes about his business, making it a ‘them and us attitude’ between the players and management.

While the club and the former Bohemians boss were quick to play down Tuesday’s headbutt incident, describing it as ‘typical training ground stuff’, rumours persist that all is not well at Easter Road.

Although yesterday’s reports were exaggerated, it has emerged that Griffiths and Fenlon did get involved in a heated argument after the manager cut a training game short and that led to the player being ordered back to the dressing room.

The on loan Wolves striker removed his training top and bib and threw it at the manager, hitting him in the face. A number of players then had to separate Fenlon and Liam O’Brien from Griffiths, who stormed off to the dressing rooms followed by Assistant Manager Billy Brown. Another heated exchange took place and Brown was pushed by Griffiths, before his team mates intervened.

Fenlon had made it clear that Griffiths remains in his plans for Saturday’s game against Dundee United, but it has now emerged that midfield hard man Martin ‘Jimmy’ Scott had been suspended for seven days following his failure to turn up for training after the victory against Ayr United in the Scottish Cup.

Fenlon had decided that all members of the squad who had not featured in the cup game should report for training the following day. A message was went by text to the players concerned, however Scott claimed to have changed his mobile number and therefore did not receive the message. He was adamant that he was not to blame, however, Fenlon did not accept his explanation and fined the former Ross County star the maximum two weeks wages and caused him to miss Sunday’s derby.

The midfielder has rarely featured in the first team following his altercation with team mate Sean Welsh during pre-season training, which resulted in the youngster receiving a fractured cheekbone.

News of the behind the scenes problems come days before Hibs play on form Dundee United who are unbeaten in their last seven games, at Easter Road in a vital match in their fight against relegation. Fenlon has described Saturday’s encounter as more important than the upcoming semi-final against Aberdeen.

He said: “When we have had a defeat over the last while we have responded quite well and we will be looking for that again, for people to be hurting and smarting. They have taken a little bit of criticism over the week and the way to get over that is by winning football matches.

“Everyone was patting us on the back for getting to the semi-final; this week everyone wants to give us a kick up the rear. That’s football. You cannot take all the praise and criticism to heart, you need a balance.

“You need to understand people will have a dig when it’s not going well and will be all over you when it is, so it’s all how they react and they have to react positively.

“Outside Celtic, United are the ones who have been on a fantastic run. I have seen a fair bit of them, I saw them beat Inverness 3-0 which was perhaps harsh on Caley but they have some decent players and a confidence about them.

“We are scrapping for everything. Everything depends on staying in this league: livelihoods, people’s ambitions all depend on us being in the SPL. We have a semi-final coming up, but this is a bigger game than that.”

Former Hearts boss Jim Jeffries will take charge of fellow relegation strugglers Dunfermline for the first time on Saturday, against a St Mirren side who have not won since Christmas.

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