Hibs’ manager Terry Butcher says that yesterday’s defeat to Hamilton Academical which consigned the club to playing Championship football next season was his darkest day in football.
Supporters had answered the call and turned out in number expecting to see Hibs maintain their top flight status, but their 2-0 aggregate lead was erased and the play offs were decided on penalties.
After the game hundreds of supporters gathered at the rear of the West Stand demanding the resignations of Chairman Rod Petrie and Butcher, but the club later issued a statement to the effect that both would remain in post.
A dejected Terry Butcher told BBC Scotland: “It’s the worst ever. I’ve been relegated before as a manager and a player, it’s horrible.
“I must give Hamilton full credit, they can certainly play and they did today. It’s my darkest day in football.”
“Whether I continue in the job is up to other people, but I want to continue,” said Butcher. “I’m extremely angry, but I’ll take the responsibility because we’ve had time to put it right.
“It was like watching a car crash today, to be honest. And it’s been like that in the past few months.
“It’s not just about today but the previous games and we haven’t done enough to get ourselves out of trouble.
“We were talking about going for the top six a few months ago. Now we find ourselves relegated.
“I must give full credit to Hamilton. They came at us today and, for some reason, we sat off the game and allowed them to play and they can certainly play.
“We had it there with a minute and 15 seconds to go. We were fine, but we’ve conceded a goal and then extra-time is a bit of a lottery in many aspects because both sets of players were extremely tired.
“Then it gets to the penalties and, well, there you go. I can’t point to bad luck because it’s more than bad luck.
“When you’re relegated, you deserve to get relegated and it’s over the piece, it’s over the whole season and not just the last game.
“You felt when it went to penalties that we’ve got a bit of a chance, but when you miss the first one then you’re always up against it.”
Photo by John Preece