2002–03 Hibernian F.C. season

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Hibernian
2002–03 season
Manager Bobby Williamson
SPL 7th
Scottish Cup R4
CIS Cup R3
Top goalscorer League: McManus, 11
All: McManus, 11
Highest home attendance 13686[1]
Lowest home attendance 7518[1]
Average home league attendance 9937[1] (down 1666)

Season 2002–03 was a disappointment for Hibernian, as the team finished in the bottom half of the Scottish Premier League in Bobby Williamson's first full season in charge. The team were also knocked out of the two domestic cup competitions at an early stage. In a preview for the next season, BBC Sport commented that the biggest problem "was a fragile defence that developed a nasty habit of conceding late goals".[2]

League season[edit]

Hibs got off to a very poor start to the league season, collecting only three points from a possible 18.[3] This included heavy defeats by Hearts and Dunfermline.[3] Former Hibs player Ulrik Laursen commented in the match programme for his new club, Celtic, that he believed former Hibs manager Alex McLeish (now at Rangers) was to blame for this decline in fortunes, due to his decision to release popular players such as Mixu Paatelainen and Stuart Lovell.[4] Hibs lost the game 1–0 at Celtic Park and remained bottom of the early league table,[4] but fortunes immediately improved, as Hibs won their next five league games in succession.

This revival meant that they were in a good league position going into the third Edinburgh derby of the season, on 2 January, where victory would mean that Hibs would leapfrog Hearts into third place.[5] Hibs twice took a two goal lead, but conceded two goals (both scored by Graham Weir) late in stoppage time to gift Hearts a 4–4 draw.[5] Hibs then lost their next five league games and drifted down the league, eventually finishing in 7th place.

Results[edit]

Final table[edit]

P Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation
1 Rangers 38 31 4 3 101 28 73 97 UEFA Champions League 2003-04 Third qualifying round
2 Celtic 38 31 4 3 98 26 72 97 UEFA Champions League 2003-04 Second qualifying round
3 Hearts 38 18 9 11 57 51 6 63 UEFA Cup 2003-04 First round
4 Kilmarnock 38 16 9 13 47 56 -9 57
5 Dunfermline Athletic 38 13 7 18 54 71 -17 46
6 Dundee 38 10 14 14 50 60 -10 44
7 Hibernian 38 15 6 17 56 64 -8 51
8 Aberdeen 38 13 10 15 41 54 -13 49
9 Livingston 38 9 8 21 48 62 -14 35
10 Partick Thistle 38 8 11 19 37 58 -21 35
11 Dundee United 38 7 11 20 35 68 -33 32
12 Motherwell 38 7 7 24 45 71 -26 28

Source: SPL official website

Scottish League Cup[edit]

As one of the SPL clubs who had not automatically qualified for European competition, Hibs entered at the last 32 stage (second round) of the competition, in which they defeated Alloa Athletic 2–0. Hibs were then drawn against Rangers, managed by former Hibs boss Alex McLeish, at home in the last 16.[6] The match proved to be a "miserable night" for Hibs, as the tie was lost 3–2 despite taking an early lead.[6] The lead was quickly turned into a deficit by an own goal and a defensive error by Derek Townsley.[6] Despite Garry O'Connor's goal levelling the score midway through the second half, Rangers scored what proved to be the winning goal soon afterwards.[6] Gary Smith was sent off late on, reducing Hibs to ten men.[6] To top things off, midfielder Alen Orman suffered what appeared to be an epileptic fit during the first half and had to be substituted.[6]

Results[edit]

Scottish Cup[edit]

Results[edit]

Transfers[edit]

During this period, Hibs were experiencing severe financial problems, due to a "collapse in television revenues".[7] Hibs chairman Ken Lewandowski stated that the club's debt burden at the financial year end would be approximately £17M, and that the club could only continue to operate due to the support offered by majority shareholder Tom Farmer.[7] At the end of the season, the club explored the possibility of selling Easter Road and sharing a new ground with Edinburgh derby rivals Hearts.[8] During the summer of 2002, Hibs somewhat addressed these financial deficits by selling Ulises de la Cruz and Ulrik Laursen. De la Cruz was sold just one season after Hibs had bought him for a club record fee.[9]

Player stats[edit]

During the 2002–03 season, Hibs used 30 different players in competitive games. The table below shows the number of appearances and goals scored by each player.[10]

No. Nat Pos Player Total SPL Scottish Cup League Cup
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Sweden GK Daniel Andersson 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 0
England GK Tony Caig 6 0 6 0 0 0 0 0
Republic of Ireland GK Nick Colgan 35 0 30 0 3 0 2 0
Scotland DF Allan Dempsie 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland DF Mark Dempsie 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 0
France DF Mathias Kouo-Doumbé 15 0 13 0 2 0 0 0
Canada DF Paul Fenwick 36 0 31 0 3 0 2 0
England DF Craig James 25 2 22 2 2 0 1 0
Hungary DF Janos Matyus 15 0 14 0 0 0 1 0
Scotland DF Gary Smith 37 0 32 0 3 0 2 0
Scotland DF Steven Whittaker 6 0 6 0 0 0 0 0
France DF Yannick Zambernardi 31 0 28 0 1 0 2 0
France MF Frederic Arpinon 9 0 8 0 1 0 0 0
Scotland MF Grant Brebner 37 7 32 3 3 3 2 1
Germany MF Mathias Jack 21 3 19 3 2 0 0 0
Scotland MF Ian Murray 40 10 36 8 3 1 1 1
Scotland MF Kevin Nicol 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland MF John O'Neil 24 2 21 2 3 0 0 0
Austria MF Alen Orman 28 1 25 1 1 0 2 0
Scotland MF Alan Reid 7 0 7 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland MF Darran Thomson 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
England MF Derek Townsley 30 4 25 4 3 0 2 0
Finland MF Jarkko Wiss 27 0 24 0 1 0 2 0
Scotland FW Scott Brown 4 3 4 3 0 0 0 0
France FW Frederic Daquin 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
Spain FW Paco Luna 20 2 18 2 0 0 2 0
Scotland FW Tam McManus 39 11 35 11 3 0 1 0
Scotland FW Garry O'Connor 28 9 23 7 3 0 2 2
Finland FW Mixu Paatelainen 29 7 24 7 3 0 2 0
Scotland FW Derek Riordan 11 3 10 3 0 0 1 0

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Average Home League Game Attendances". www.fitbastats.com. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Room for improvement at Hibs". BBC Sport. BBC. 4 August 2003. 
  3. ^ a b Brewster destroys Hibs, Daily Telegraph, 12 September 2002.
  4. ^ a b Laursen blames McLeish over Hibs, Daily Telegraph, 16 September 2002.
  5. ^ a b High drama in Edinburgh derby, BBC Sport, 2 January 2003.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Hibernian 2 Rangers 3, Sporting Life.
  7. ^ a b Kwik-Fit keeps Hibs afloat, BBC Sport, 25 June 2003.
  8. ^ Capital groundshare plan, BBC Sport, 16 June 2003.
  9. ^ De la Cruz for Villa, The Guardian, 26 July 2002.
  10. ^ "Hibernian 2002/2003 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 

External links[edit]