Hibs boss Colin Calderwood has insisted a dip in form wasn’t behind his decision to drop Scotland Under-21 star Callum Booth.
After being an ever-present this season, the young defender could only find a seat on the bench for the visit of Aberdeen, although he did make a second half appearance in the goalless draw as he replaced injured skipper Ian Murray.
The move followed a couple of costly errors from Booth, which saw him gift St Mirren an equaliser as the Buddies came from behind to win at Easter Road before being involved along with team-mate Matt Thornhill in the incident which led to Hearts’ opener in their derby win the following weekend.
However, Calderwood revealed the thinking behind demotion for Booth, who had missed just one match since breaking into the first team in January, was nothing more than a tactical switch.
The manager said: “We thought Aberdeen might play with someone else out there and target that area in a different way, that was the reason behind it.”
Meanwhile, Calderwood believes on-loan Wolves star Leigh Griffiths can spark Hibs frontline into action, the Edinburgh club having claimed just three goals in their opening six SPL games – all from the boot of Garry O’Connor – as they’ve found themselves propping up the table.
Lifelong Hibs fan Griffiths came on to a warm welcome from the home fans when he replaced Junior Agogo against the Dons and Calderwood admitted he liked what he had seen from the Scotland Under-21 striker, who produced Hibs’ best chance, a cross which flashed across Aberdeen’s six-yard box and eluded O’Connor’s boot by a fraction of an inch.
Calderwood said: “Leigh came on and lifted the crowd. We will benefit from him going forward. He’s very lively, he definitely wants to get a shot off and I think there is more to come.”