Pat Fenlon admits it was the right time to leave after Hibernian exit

The former Hibs boss left his role as manager following the demoralising defeat to rivals Hearts

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The Independent Football

Pat Fenlon feels it was the right time to quit as Hibernian boss - even though he still had the backing of the Easter Road board.

The 44-year-old called time on his two-years reign in Leith just two days after a demoralising defeat to city rivals Hearts sparked fresh fan protests.

The Irishman claims he still had the support of chairman Rod Petrie but decided he had taken the club as far as he could.

He said: "I have heard managers before [say things about their clubs] but I can't say anything more about this club. They have been brilliant with me.

"That's why it is an easier decision. I don't want to let people down and the club have been 100 per cent behind me in everything I have asked.

"It's tough because I still feel I have the backing of the club, but I think it's important that there is honesty that works both ways. And I just feel I've taken the club as far as I could and it's better someone else comes in to take the team forward."

Fenlon moved to Edinburgh to replace Colin Calderwood in November 2011 but his reign included last year's humiliating 5-1 Scottish Cup final defeat to city rivals Hearts as well as the record 7-0 Europa League setback to Malmo earlier this term.

The final straw for supporters came on Wednesday when they lost to the administration-hit Jambos for a second time this season as they crashed out of the Scottish League Cup.

Assistant Jimmy Nicholl will take the team for Sunday's Scottish Premiership match at Motherwell.

In a statement released by the club, Petrie thanked Fenlon for his efforts, adding: "Pat arrived when were at a very low point almost two years ago and he has worked tirelessly to bring about improvements since his first day.

"He has taken us to two Scottish Cup finals in successive seasons and in his first full season in charge improved our league standing by 18 points and four places.

"He has assembled a squad of talented players but feels that he should now hand over the reins. We wish Pat every success in future and thank him for all his efforts."