JACK Ross last night admitted that his Hibernian players had lacked guts in their disappointing Betfred Cup semi-final defeat to St Johnstone at Hampden.
The Easter Road club dominated the opening half an hour of the match and Paul Hanlon, Jamie Murphy and Jackson Irvine all came close to getting on the scoresheet.
But the fourth-placed Premiership outfit conceded a goal to Jason Kerr at a corner and fell two behind early in the second-half when Shaun Rooney netted at a free-kick.
Ross was annoyed at how Hibs had allowed their top flght opponents to score twice from set pieces – but also bemoaned his side’s failure to fight back.
“We have defended set-pieces well this season but this evening we didn’t,” he said. “That meant the half-time scoreline was probably not a fair reflection on the game.
“We had to make sure we didn’t give up similar opportunities in the second, but we did and found ourselves two down.
“The performance up to then had been good, but after that it was nowhere near good enough.”
Ross continued: “You need strength of character and resolve to battle through situations like that and we didn’t have that.
“There was a lot today that was about guts and heart and drive. These things often get overlooked in the modern game but they are important. We fell short of that.”