Hibs boss Shaun Maloney can ‘understand’ why fans turned to boos after yesterday’s 3-2 defeat by Livingston at Easter Road as he insisted the Easter Road side’s fans have been “very supportive” since he took the reins.

Maloney’s side lost out despite being ahead twice through Demetri Mitchell and Chris Cadden but six calamitous minutes in the second half saw Hibs hand the three points to the visitors.

With an Edinburgh derby on Tuesday night, Hibs fans were understandably unhappy with the result and the performance and Maloney is confident they don’t need any motivation against Hearts in midweek.

“I understand that when you lose, these are the reactions you get,” Maloney said.

“But the fans have been very supportive and they know where we are at.

“There is a reason why Hibs were seventh when I took over and the fans are fine.

“It’s a derby match and I don’t think the supporters – and the players – need any sort of motivation or understanding of how important a game it is.

“Ideally it would have been good to get a positive result going into it, but the preparation starts now.

“We started well and the first half was good, but Livingston are never out of the game.

“There will always be actions like the free-kick for the first goal and the long throw for the second.

“I was really disappointed with how we defended that and the second half in general.

“We lost control and the game became too open.

“But overall, the set-plays made a big difference in the game. 

“When they have three players in the box and we have seven, nobody should be getting a free header.”

The defeat yesterday leaves Hibs without a win in the Premiership from their last three games and Tuesday’s derby with Hearts could see them fall 15 points behind their biggest rivals.

While Maloney continues speaking about his long-term plans, if he doesn’t start turning results around quickly, his long-term plan might never see the light of day.

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