THERE was little festive cheer from Jimmy Nicholl following Kilmarnock’s 1-1 home draw with Hibernian yesterday.
The Rugby Park Assistant manager – substituting for Boss Kenny Shiels who was taking a voluntary sabbatical from speaking to the media following his three-match touchline ban – cut a frustrated figure following a game that he viewed as a lost opportunity.
“We were well below par. We didn’t play well – our play was not up to our usual high standards,” he said.
“It wasn’t a great game. After winning at Aberdeen last week we wanted a good run with another home game on Boxing Day.”
Kilmarnock certainly got off to the perfect start when Paul Heffernan opened the scoring as early as the fifth minute when he skilfully lobbed the ball over visiting goalkeeper Ben Williams.
Killie however failed to capitalise on the early breakthrough although they had a good penalty claim turned down when Mo Sissoko appeared to be impeded
Hibs equalised on 25 minutes when Eoin Doyle, unmarked at the back post, turned home Leigh Griffiths’ low cross.
Although disappointed, Nicholl praised the Edinburgh side.
“We made a good start and scored a good goal but Hibs played well, their movement was good and they passed the ball cleverly,” he said.
“We need to work harder – we’re not creating nearly enough chances.”