Hibs boss insists he’s close to finding winning formula

Alan Stubbs is happy with how Hibs are playing and says goals will come
Alan Stubbs is happy with how Hibs are playing and says goals will come
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Alan Stubbs is adamant Hibs are just a couple of tweaks away from finding a consistent winning formula.

The Easter Road side are currently on a four-game unbeaten run, but the feelgood factor from back-to-back away wins at Ross County and Rangers disappeared after they were held to home draws against Raith Rovers and Dumbarton.

A switch to 3-5-2 last month helped Hibs shore things up in defence and control games in midfield, but they have managed only one goal in their last two games.

Head coach Stubbs is happy with his team’s general play and believes all they are missing is a cutting edge, something he hopes to address for this Saturday’s trip to Livingston.

“If anyone’s got any inkling about playing football, you only have to look at what we’re doing – we’re creating opportunities,” he told the Evening News. “We had 25 attempts at goal against Dumbarton, for example – the only thing that’s missing is that we need to take more of those opportunities and put teams away.

“The fans are frustrated but there’s positive signs that it’s coming together. I’m happy with the football we’re playing but we just need to start getting the ‘goals-for’ column to reflect the number of chances we’re creating and making the games a lot easier for ourselves.

“We’ve sorted things out at the back but it’s a fine balance. Earlier in the season we conceded a few goals I wasn’t too happy with and we sorted that with a different formation. It’s about finding the right balance between defending well and scoring goals. There are players who are not in the team just now who will get opportunities in the coming weeks and we’ll keep tweaking it until we get the right formula. We’re not far away – I honestly believe that.”

Despite languishing fifth in the Championship, 14 points behind leaders Hearts, Stubbs feels that steady progress has been made since last season’s relegation.

“We’ve come in and changed things but it doesn’t happen overnight,” he said. “We’d like to be closer to the top than where we are, but with what’s happened at the club, it’s going to be small steps rather than big steps to get to where we want. What others teams do has got nothing to do with us. We need to just concentrate on ourselves and see where we are at the end of the season.”