Hibs boss Shaun Maloney insists his side should have had a first-half penalty in last night’s 2-0 defeat by Rangers at Ibrox, with the Easter Road boss adamant that referee Nick Walsh missed a “clear penalty” for his side.

Having already pointed to the spot for Rangers after only four minutes, Walsh gave the hosts a free-kick when Calvin Bassey and Ryan Porteous were wrestling inside the box midway through the opening 45.

While the Hibees boss conceded Rangers were the on top for long spells at Ibrox, the former Belgium number two praised his players for parts of their showing in Glasgow.

“Rangers were probably the better side for long parts but there were still some parts I really have to give our players credit for,” Maloney said.

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“Going 1-0 down really early, we regrouped defensively. We didn’t give up too many really big chances.

“The chances we create, and it sounds like I’m saying this a fair bit at the moment, it does change the dynamics of the game if we take them.

“The penalty (claim) was a big decision. That would have changed the dynamic too. But that’s done. At the time, I couldn’t quite see it. But, looking back, it’s quite clear it was a penalty.

“I know it’s difficult for referees with no VAR, mistakes can happen, but it was a clear penalty for me.”

As the Hibees continue looking for a league win in 2022, Maloney saw areas his side can improve on but was reluctant to criticise them too harshly.

With Hibs also failing to score for the fifth time in six games, the Hibs boss needs to start getting results quickly instead of pointing to minor improvements that aren’t really impacting on games.

“They can see what the players are trying to do and also the effort they gave,” Maloney added.

“It’s not the first time. We are finishing games strongly and creating chances. The difference in a lot of games recently is that other teams have been more clinical.

“But we can be better in possession. In the early part we gave up too much easy possession and allowed Rangers to attack us.

“We can be loads better at that. It was very difficult conditions, we can definitely go longer at that moment. We don’t always have to go short.

“But I always give the players the option to do both and let them feel it in the game. They have been really good at that at times so I can’t really criticise too much when they make the odd mistake.”

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