Neil Lennon has raised concerns over the “unacceptable” tackling the John McGinn has had to endure for Hibernian this season, claiming that teams kick the Scotland international to stop him progressing.
McGinn has of course been a standout performer for the Hibees this term, with Scotland boss Alex McLeish rewarding his efforts with a call-up for the friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary.
However, Lennon believes McGinn was fortunate to make the squad after the treatment he received from Hearts midfielder Harry Cochrane and St Johnstone’s Blair Alston.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s clash with Partick Thistle, the former Hoops manager bemoaned the amount of fouls which have been committed against Hibs this season.
“Brutality is the wrong word, it’s the coarseness of the tackles that has upset me. I don’t mind tackles, I don’t mind shoulder charges, I don’t mind 50/50s.
“But the off-the-ball stuff and the amount of fouls that are made on my team, it’s almost up in the twentys most week.
“I think we are the most fouled team in the league now.”
Lennon added, “The one on McGinn, he’s had two now John, the Cochrane one and the Alston one, for me, they are unacceptable in the game.
“They are not tackles, they are just kicking a player off the ball to stop him progressing.”
“John, being of strong mind and strong build, was probably fortunate to go away with Scotland following the treatment he got on that Friday night.”
Does McGinn need more protection from the officials? Or is the level of aggression he faces on match-days a result of his own imposing style?
Lennon’s comments come after he admitted to being “realistic” over McGinn’s future at Easter Road.