Griffiths calls for O’Connor pairing

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Leigh GRIFFITHS hailed his strike partnership with Garry O’Connor a success and urged Colin Calderwood to pair the two up front in Hibs’ attack at Motherwell tomorrow.

Griffiths and O’Connor combined to help Hibs to a two-goal lead at Dunfermline on Saturday before being replaced by Junior Agogo and Akpo Sodje after an hour, but the former Livingston striker says he and O’Connor can do the business if given the chance.

O’Connor scored one at East End Park and could have struck another after he and Griffiths linked up well to carve open the Pars’ defence on Saturday.

“You’ve seen what Garry does – he scores goals – and if I can form a partnership with him in the next few weeks, I’m sure we’ll do well,” said Griffiths, 21.

“He’s the only one I’ve played up front with so far and until we came off I thought we did really well. We just need to wait for Tuesday night and see what happens.”

Colin Calderwood’s decision to take off O’Connor and Griffiths after 60 minutes was not vindicated as Hibs, 2-1 up at the time, were left to settle for just a point after on-loan Hearts defender Jason Thomson powered home an equaliser for Dunfermline only moments later. Griffiths was surprised at the double substitution, not least the call to withdraw his strike partner.

“He [Calderwood] thought it was the right decision and thought it would pay off but obviously, with the result in the end, it didn’t,” said Griffiths, who is on loan English Premier League outfit Wolverhampton.

“I thought maybe I would have come off and they’d have kept Gaz on because he was running them ragged. Gaz was more surprised than what I was to come off, but the manager thought it was the right decision.”

O’Connor hit Hibs’ second at East End Park, much to the delight of fellow forward Griffiths.

“I’m delighted for Gaz. It’s been a tough week for him but he did really well, he got his goal and he deserved it,” said Griffiths.

“He worked really hard. Big Gaz has just got on with it, he’s come into training with his head held high and his goal was what he deserved.”

At the final whistle in Fife, a section of the Hibs support called for Calderwood to be removed from his position as manager and a chorus of boos rang out as the visiting players left the field.

Griffiths said he understood the feelings of the travelling supporters and expressed frustration at his team’s failure to pick up three points.

“A team like Hibs should be coming to Dunfermline, especially when they’re 2-0 up, and seeing the game out,” he said. “It’s definitely two points dropped, but we’ve got to be happy with a point.”