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Stanton's verdict: 'They were not up to it'

Pat Stanton grew up watching the Famous Five and played for Turnbull's Tornadoes, but the Hibs legend admits he now fears for the club after Sunday's calamitous relegation to the Championship.

The 69-year-old former Hibs captain and manager insists the club were in serious trouble long before they faced-up to must-win league encounters against Ross County, Kilmarnock and Hamilton as the season drew to a grim climax.

Stanton is clear in his assessment that the players who consigned Hibs to an uncertain fate in next season's Championship were simply not good enough. Backing yesterday's massive clear-out by manager Terry Butcher, he said: "There's got to be a big fear for the future of the club. This did not happen two or three weeks ago, it's been coming for a while now.

"The worrying thing all along has been that other teams have had better players than Hibs and it should have been addressed. Okay, on Sunday they were within almost a heartbeat of getting out of it but, watching what happened on the day, Hamilton were the better side.

"More than half of the Hibs team were not up to the task. One or two dug in and did their best, but an awful lot of them were not good enough.

"This was not just a bounce game, this was a game about the future of the club, and they were not up to it.

"People have said it was down to the way they were playing, but I'm of the opinion the players are not good enough, it's as simple as that. They had umpteen chances to get out of trouble.

"One player in particular, James Collins, said they would be all right. That was nonsense.

"The fans expect the club to clear the decks and get on with it, but it's going to be very difficult next season with both Rangers and Hearts in the division."

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