Alan Stubbs backs strike duo to send Hibs up

Jason Cummings, left, breaks away. Picture: Gordon Fraser
Jason Cummings, left, breaks away. Picture: Gordon Fraser
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Alan Stubbs today backed strikers Jason Cummings and Dominique Malonga to get the goals which will take Hibs back to the Premiership.

The pair have both been on target in the Easter Road club’s last three matches, Cummings taking his tally for the season to 20, while Malonga notched his 16th as the Capital outfit clinched second place in the Championship table with a comprehensive 3-0 win over bogey team Falkirk.

And Stubbs admitted he was delighted to see Malonga rediscover his goal-scoring touch at just the right time, the Congolese internationalist having scored just twice since departing for the Africa Cup of Nations at the turn of the year.

The head coach said: “Dom has looked great since he has come back into the team. He’s looking really sharp, looking like he is back on his game, which bodes well for the remaining games.

“To be honest I have not been counting how many goals the two of them have scored. I’m just hoping it’s going to be more than that by the time we finish the next four games.

“But it’s good to have two strikers in such form. Jason has a really good habit and knack of being in the right place at the right time. I think any striker needs that, it’s not something that you can give someone, you can’t necessarily teach them.

“He was a threat all afternoon against Falkirk. His pace really worried their backline and he could have had a couple of goals.

“Knowing him he would be disappointed with that because he judges himself on goals rather than performances at times.”

And while expressing his belief that his side could hold their own in the top flight, Stubbs cautioned against getting too far ahead as he insisted nothing had been achieved yet as he begins to prepare for a play-off semi-final against either Rangers or Queen of the South.

He said: “There’s a lot of water to flow under the bridge, a lot of football to be played. They don’t deserve anything because they have not earned it yet.

“They have four games to try and earn it, that’s the most important thing. If and when they were to get there then we will see. But I think we will see an even better team, I really do.

“However, they have four games to try to put that right.”

Stubbs, though, was sweating on the fitness of defender Jordon Forster who damaged an ankle as he landed awkwardly on the artificial surface following an aerial challenge with Falkirk’s Liam Dick only a minute into the second half of the game while Martin Boyle, who’d opened the scoring after just five minutes, also picked up a knock.

He said: “Martin is not too serious but Jordon is probably a little bit more serious. But we have 18 days which gives us a bit of time to get him ready for whoever we play.”