It's Make Your Mind Up Time
Pat Fenlon is looking at what he can influence and not on what he can't
Hibs manager Pat Fenlon is fed up with how long it is taking for any decision to be make regarding league reconstruction. He thinks it would be for the best that any decision was mead earlier to allow managers and players prepare for whatever format the new leagues took up. Monday 15 April is SPL voting day on plans for 12-12-18 structure with the SFL clubs having their say the following Friday. Clubs are getting their heads round the implications for themselves and Scottish football with, perhaps understandably, the former focussing the mind. St Mirren have already spoken publicly that they will vote no in the SPL ballot. With an 11-1 majority required for any change, it just needs one more club to vote against the proposal for the drawing board to be dragged out again. Meanwhile, a recent informal vote within SFL the clubs saw a split down the middle on whether or not to proceed with a new set-up next season. Fenlon believes league management and club chairman have had long enough to talk.(c) Ger Harley | SportPix.org.uk He told Press Association Sport: "It's dragged on a bit long to be honest. The vote should have been a good while ago to give people time to digest it. If it's not going to happen it would have been good to have the time to look at other ways to help the game. So the current situation is not ideal but it's where we are. We have to deal with that as clubs and managers. I don't know the full process of what went on but if you are making changes I think the decisions should be taken a little bit earlier so they can can make adjustments. Now we are at the tail end of the season, it's not leaving us with a lot of time to prepare."Fenlon's immediate concern, of course, it Saturday's Scottish Cup semi-final against Falkirk. The return to Hampden comes just 11 months after the Edinburgh side's humiliation when they were thumped 5-1 in the cup final defeat by city rivals Hearts. Howver, Fenlon insists he has not looked back on the derby disaster with his players and instead will tell them to their last-four win over Aberdeen this time last season if they need inspiration from the past. He said: "I said after the final last year that there was nothing I could do about the defeat at that point. It was done and dusted. My mind is now focused on leading this club to another cup final. That's all I'm thinking about. We just need to go to Hampden and give it our best. I haven't spoken to the players about it or anyone else since then. It wasn't nice. We had to take it on the chin and move on. If you are looking for a memory to fall back on, then last year's semi-final was a great occasion for us. That is something we want to replicate again and book ourselves another big day out."Hibs' slim hopes of finishing the season in the top six were killed off when they were beaten at Celtic Park last weekend. They had topped the table last November but could not quite sustain a run of form to challenge for Europe via the league. However, Fenlon insists there is still a lot to play for and the season is far from over. Hibs finished last season in second bottom place so anywhere above that would be an improvement. However, Fenlon is looking for a lot more from his side. He said: "I believe the team has made big strides this year but that is for other people to judge. Both on and off the park, there is a genuine better feeling around the club. But there is still a lot to play for - we could reach a cup final, qualify for Europe and finish seventh in the league. Given what happened last year, then that would be a big improvement."
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