Posts Tagged ‘ Ian Murray ’

Referee’s Blunder Costs Hibs Two Points


A combination of fine goalkeeping from Republic of Ireland youngster Danny Rogers and some atrocious refereeing prevented Hibs taking all three points this afternoon against Dumbarton at Easter Road.

Head Coach Alan Stubbs made two changes to the starting XI who drew with Raith Rovers last Saturday, with David Gray returning from injury replacing Callum Booth and Dylan McGeouch taking over from Scott Allan.

Jason Cummings, Liam Craig and David Gray all went close in the early stages before Mark Oxley was called into action to save a fine strike from Jordan Kirkpatrick. Continue reading

Brave Fight Back Secures Hibs Win Over Dumbarton


Three goals in the last 12 minutes secured Hibs a place in the next round of the Scottish League Cup after a dramatic encounter with Dumbarton at Easter Road last night.

The Sons had led 2-0 but a brave fight back from Alan Stubbs’ men spared their embarrassment.

New signing Liam Fontaine made his debut replacing Cambridge Town bound Michael Nelson whilst Danny Handling celebrated his new four year contract by replacing Paul Heffernan in the starting XI. Scott Robertson returned from suspension and replaced the suspended Liam Craig.

David Gray took over the captain’s armband.

There were several familiar faces in the Dumbarton camp, with former fan’s favourites Ian Murray and Guillaume Beuzelin in the dugout and Colin Nish, David Van Zanten and Scott Taggart in the team.

There was almost a delay in the start of the game due to the late arrival of the Dumbarton team bus.

Hibs dominated the first half and Alex Harris, Handling, Farid El Alagui’s and Fontaine all having chances to open the scoring, but the Dumbarton defence held firm.

Man of the match Matt Kennedy also had the fans off their seats with another fine display down the left wing as Hibs struggled to grab the initiative.

As so often happens at Easter Road, Hibs fell behind against the run of play in the 51st minute when Scott Agnew’s corner kick was headed back across goal by Colin Nish and Mich Megginson hooked the ball high into the net, then seven minutes later the ‘Sons’ added a second from another corner when the ball ricochet off Mark Gilhaney into the net.

Despite this setback, the fans continued to get behind the players and substitute Jason Cummings was denied by a superb save from Scott Rogers before Scott Allan’s shot was deflected just wide of the post.

With 12 minutes remaining Hibs pulled one back when Gray beat his man down the right wing and sent in an inch perfect cross which El Alagui headed into the corner of the net.

From then it was one way traffic and six minutes later El Alagui levelled the scoring with another powerful header, this time from a Jordon Forster cross.

With extra time looming, substitute Sam Stanton cut inside from the right and curled a fantastic left foot strike into the far corner of the net from the edge of the box.

Hibernian: Oxley, Gray, Fontaine, Forster, Harris (Cummings 56’), Robertson, El Alagui, Handling (Stanton 68’), S Allan, Booth, Kennedy. Substitutes not used: Perntreou, Heffernan, Tudur Jones, L Allan, Dunsmore.

Dumbarton: Rodgers, van Zanten, Linton, Graham, Turner, Gilhaney, Agnew, Nish (Kirkpatrick 71’), Megginson, Taggart, Flemming (Campbell 81’). Substitutes not used: Ewings, Prunty, Murray, McDougal, Coleman.

Referee: Don Robertson.

Attendance: 5,066

Who Will Replace Pat Fenlon At Easter Road?


Following Pat Fenlon’s resignation, Irish News Review casts an eye at those in line to replace the exiled Dubliner.

A poll on the Hibs-Net Fan’s Forum has Inverness boss Terry Butcher as the preferred choice, and media reports this morning suggest that the former England captain heads Rod Petrie’s list, and that an offer could be imminent.

Butcher has guided Inverness Caledonian Thistle to their highest ever league finish and but for Billy McKay missing an open goal in the semi-final of the League Cup against Hearts, he could easily have brought silverware to the Highlands. Continue reading

Clancy Sent To Specialist As Deegan Returns Following Assault

Hibs boss Pat Fenlon has revealed that Irish born full back Tim Clancy is scheduled to head south to see a specialist about his groin injury, so won’t be available for first team duties for some time.

Speaking ahead of the top of the table clash with Aberdeen at the weekend, Fenlon remains hopeful that influential club captain James McPake will be available after missing the last two games with a back injury, and reveals that Gary Deegan has been given the green light to resume training after suffering a broken jaw in an unprovoked assault last month.

The former Bohs’ manager told Hibs TV “Tim won’t be available this weekend, we sent him away down to England to see a specialist.

“There are a few options that we can take with the type of injury he has and he has responded a little bit to rest and treatment.

“But not as much as we would have liked so we’re obviously looking at a couple of different options to see how we can get to the bottom of it and make sure he is available as quick as possible.”

“James McPake has done a small bit of training this morning so we’re hopeful, but again he is still a little bit sore, so I would say at this stage probably 50/50 to be honest.

“It’s not a serious injury, he’s had a muscle spasm in his back and it just takes time for it to ease out.

“So it’s just important that we get him properly fit rather than take any risks with him because the last thing we want to do obviously is lose him long-term, so it’s about playing the game right, making sure that he is fit to play when we put him back in the team.”

“Gary Deegan is not back in; he was in the hospital today and has been given the all-clear to get back training.

“He’ll probably have four or five days non-contact just to get him back in and get his lungs working again and getting some weight back on him, he’s lost a little bit of weight.

“But holding Deego back will be the challenge for us now I think, he’s really keen to get back training but we’ve got to make sure the doctors are delighted with him and he’s made big progress, so I’d say maybe in the next ten days we should see him back into training with the squad.”

With regard to the game, he said: “I think it’ll be a tight game and I think it’ll be an exciting game, with the system Aberdeen use they’re looking like they want to win games and not lose them.

“So I think you’ll see two teams go at it hammer and tong to try and pick up the points.

“Both Hibs and Aberdeen are big clubs in the context and the history of the game in Scotland. Both clubs have a great history, so over a long period of time the Aberdeen and Hibernian games would have been seen as top of the table clashes.

“But probably over the past few seasons both teams have been at the wrong end of the table. I think Aberdeen are in a similar situation, there has been a continued increase in their attendances as well, the same as ourselves, and it just proves the point that it’s all about getting results on the park in order to entice people back to support the club.

“It’s great that both of us are at the right end of the table at the moment, but we want to stay there so winning our home games is vitally important.”

With speculation intensifying concerning the futures of Leigh Griffiths, Jorge Claros and Ryan McGivern, the manager insists that every effort is being made to retain their services.

He said: “I think the important thing to say is there have been different stories coming out from various places, but, as I said to our supporters a few weeks ago, with the three boys that are here on loan that we’re working hard to try and make sure that keep them.

“But rather than continue the talking, as soon as we have news on any of them then our supporters will be the first to know.

“Our supporters need to know that we are working really hard in relation to strengthening the squad, making the squad better and retaining players we have that we want to keep.

“It’s really important that we want to keep our best players, but we’ve got to shop in a certain pool and that’s where we are and we’ve got to make sure that’s the area we’re looking to get players in.

“I’ve said this previously that even outside of the loan players we’re looking at other targets that are in our area that we know we can afford, that’s just the way football is at the moment and we’ve got to deal with that.”

Meanwhile, former club captain Ian Murray has been confirmed as the new manager of Dumbarton.

Fans pay tribute to former captain Ian Murray

As Pat Fenlon starts to reshape Hibs and bring in his own players, former club captain and long term servant Ian Murray has left Easter Road at the end of his contract and is looking to continue his career in either America or back in the UK.

Last night, Hibs fans finally said a fond farewell to Murray at his testimonial dinner in Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange. This was the last in a series of events over the past twelve months to commemorate the service that Ian has given to the club that he and his family have always supported.

In an emotional night for the thirty one year old utility player, a ‘who’s who’ of past heroes lined up to pay tribute to his footballing skills and attitude which made him such a favourite with the Easter Road faithful.

First up was arguably the greatest ever Hibs player and the sole survivor of the legendary Famous Five; Lawrie Reilly. The great man didn’t mince his words when asked for his assessment of Ian. He told Irish News Review: “Ian Murray has been the best player on Hibs books since he returned the club and I’m not just saying that because this is his night. I tell anyone who will listen that, and I only wish we had more like him.”

Two legends who were part of the 1991 Skol Cup victory also praised Ian and claimed that he was good enough to have made that team although the competition in midfield would be stiff.

Micky Weir, who is currently weighing up options for coaching roles in the East of Scotland League said: “Ian was a good player. He was wholehearted and what you see is what you get.”

Keith Wright said: “Ian would have been a great addition to our squad when we played although he would have had to fight for his place with Murdo (McLeod) and Pat McGinley. I liked watching him in the Sauzee team and it was good that he progressed to a higher level with Scotland, Rangers and Norwich. It’s an honour to be at this event to pay my respect to a good Hibs man.”

Chairman Rod Petrie said: “Ian has been a tremendous servant to the club and sets an example that others would do well to follow. I wish him all the best in his future career,”

Comedian Russ Williams then entertained the fans with his stand-up routine before running the auction which raised over £4500.

Tickets for Curtis Stiger went for £240, a framed Ian Murray strip from his last ever Hibs game went for £400. A golf four-ball at Archerfield reached £250 and Manchester United tickets went for £650. Overnight accommodation with dinner for two at Le Monde went for £240 and the chance to play against Hibs legends made £300. Memorabilia from Ian’s testimonial match including signed Patrick Vieira boots fetched £700.

Table 18, sponsored by Edinburgh Lock Centre, Radcliffe Terrace took the award for the most generous of the night when Max Preston from the Southside bid £800 for framed tennis  shirts worn and signed by the Murray bothers, Andy and Jamie, whilst father and son Lionel and Fraser Wilson paid £1000 for two tickets to The Proclaimers sell out show on Thursday 22 November at Edinburgh Playhouse including VIP backstage passes , two signed copies of their latest CD and Hibs home and away tops signed by Craig and Charlie.

The evening continued with an on-stage interview of Ian by TV star Grant Stott, before The Proclaimers raised the roof with a mixture of new songs and old favourites such as Letter from America, Let’s get Married, Cap in Hand, I’m on my way, and of course Hibs anthem Sunshine on Leith.

They finished up with 500 Miles which brought everyone, including 83 year old Lawrie Reilly to his feet in appreciation.

Afterwards in the bar, host Grant Stott said: “It’s been a great night. Graeme and the committee have done a brilliant job with a variety of events, but to top it off with The Proclaimers is just a great tribute to Ian and his family.”

Speaking at the event, Ian Murray told Irish News Review:  “It’s fair to say I have mixed emotions, I’ve played for the club for over ten years over two spell and been a supporter and I am immensely proud to have, achieved that but I have to get on with my life and I’ll give the same effort to my new team as I gave the Hibs, wherever that may be, I’m not sure at this moment in time.

“America is a big possibility for us. I’ve been out there for  the last ten days training with a team and it’s gone well and hopefully we can reach some sort of a deal, but if not I’m open to offers and could continue my career in the UK.

With a career in management or coaching in mind, Ian was asked specifically whether he would like to return to Easter Road one day.

“I’ve enjoyed my time at Easter Road and had great support from my family and fans and the board and various managers and assistant managers, but I would give ant team at any level my 100%. Dedication, but of course you would love to manage the team you have supported all your life, that would be the pinnacle of your career, but equally I understand that even if you want to be the manager of a certain club doesn’t mean you will.

When asked about the highlights, Ian responded: “There’s been a few highlights, I’ve had good bad and indifferent times, but obviously the dinner tonight is a highlight for me personally, I played in the cup final at nineteen year of age, derby games, even getting beat, they are all special moments, certain goals, but if I had to pick one highlight it would probably be my debut. To play one game or to play 100 games, at that stage no-one can tell, but to get that chance was fantastic.”

When asked to provide a message for the Hibs fans, he said: “It’s difficult; the whole country’s going through a hard time. I always believe that you should support your team through good, bad and indifferent times. It’s obviously set the club back a wee bit getting beat in the cup final by your rivals 5-1 but I would just say keep supporting, the team.  If you can afford to go to the games and support the local community please do.”

Fenlon looks forward to Rapid Bucharest test

Hibs kick off this campaign with a friendly against Rapid Bucharest on Wednesday 11 July. The Romanian club, who finished fourth in their domestic league, are in Scotland preparing for their Europa League campaign, and manager Pat Fenlon that the warm up game will be a difficult affair.

Fenlon told Hibs TV: “Rapid Bucharest have already played a few games as well, so they will be a fair bit ahead of us fitness-wise, but it will be a good test for us. Rapid are a decent continental team, who will keep the ball and we will get some real work out of them.

“That’s what you want to get for pre-season games. You want to get results where you can, but it is more about getting match practice and work on sharpness, touch and technique.

“It’s a tough start, but I wanted our pre-season games to be tough because in the longer term it will help. There has to be something at stake and we need to get something out of it.

“Pre-season is all about hard work. It’s not always nice as a player – I’ve been there, but as a player you feel the benefit after getting a week or two under your belt; you can feel yourself getting to the fitness level you need to be at.

“We need to make sure we hit the ground running when we get to the first league game. There’s been a lot of hard work which is then leading into quicker stuff.

“It’s been good, the players have worked really hard and they have embraced everything we’ve put in front of them. They’ve worked as hard as they can to make sure their fitness levels go up.”

So far Hibs have signed three players; Tim Clancy, James McPake and Paul Cairney, but Fenlon is aware of the need for the team to score goals from different areas of the side and reveals he is searching for a striker.

He said: “We want to share the goals around. Last year, Leigh (Griffiths) and Garry (O’Connor) got us plenty of goals, but we didn’t get too many from other areas.

“So it’s important that we mix it up. We don’t have many strikers at the club at present. Obviously Doyler (Eoin Doyle) is the main striker and then we’ve got some young boys in Danny Handling and Ross Caldwell.

“We’re looking to bring one in there as well. So we need to share the load and if we can chip in with more goals it will make everything easier.”

The game will take place at Grangemouth where Rapid Bucharest are based during their stay in Scotland. Kick off 7.45pm.

Meanwhile Hibs fans get a final chance to say goodbye to club captain Ian Murray at his testimonial dinner tonight. The event will be held at the Corn Exchange and hosted by Grant Stott with an hour long concert by The Proclaimers.

Irish News Review will be present at the event and a full account of the proceedings will be published tomorrow.

Irish Duo Leave Hibs

Former Republic of Ireland under 21 goalkeeper Graham Stack has become the latest Hibs player to leave the club after he was notified that his contract will not be extended. The 30 year old was signed by John Hughes three years ago, but a series of injuries have resulted in him only playing 61 times.

This season, he finally became the number one choice, taking over from Mark Brown, but a torn thigh muscle sustained in the semi-final against Aberdeen ended his Easter Road career and meant that he missed the Cup Final defeat last Saturday.

The former Arsenal player was a popular figure around the club and messaged his disappointment to fans via Facebook saying: “After 3 seasons at Hibernian I’m sad and gutted to have played my last game. It’s a Club that me and my Family have loved from day one and a City that’s became our home. Fans I’ve met along the way have been brilliant and will not be forgotten

“Those who have stuck by me through my injuries and picked me up when things on the pitch were bad i can’t thank you enough. It’s been a mixed journey of ups and downs, finishing 4th in my first season and getting into Europe was a real high as well reaching the Scottish Cup final more recently and saving a penalty in the Derby at Easter Rd.

“My biggest regret is to have not won any Silverware and missing so much football in my second season. I’d like to think having played 35 games this season I’ve shown people i can stay fit and played my part in keeping us up. I’ve now got to move on with my life and career and have no idea where it will go but one thing is for sure i can leave knowing whenever I’ve put the Hibs strip on I’ve given nothing less than everything to perform at my best and win every game!

“ I know everyone is still hurting after the weekend but i firmly believe it is a ”Great Club” and changes do need to be made but in years to come it will achieve a top 3 finish and will win The Scottish Cup and no one deserves it more than the supporters!! Thanks for everything STACKY and FAMILY X X X”

Stack’s exit was confirmed 24 hours after Hibs released club captain Ian Murray and young players Scott Taggart and Sean Welsh.

Garry O’Connor who is also out of contract has confirmed that he will not be signing an extension, whilst loan players George Francombe, Matt Doherty, Roy O’Donovan, Tom Soares, Richie Towell, Leigh Griffiths and James McPake have all returned to their parent clubs.

Fenlon has indicated that he may be talking to some of their clubs when the players concerned return from holidays, and the supporters are desperate to for the club to sign James McPake from relegated Coventry. The influential centre half was called up by Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neil for the forthcoming friendly against Holland. McPake qualifies for Northern Ireland through his Antrim born grandfather on his mother’s side.

Former Bohemians defender and Dublin native Matt Doherty confirmed that there is ‘no chance’ of him being at Easter Road next season in an interview after the final.