LEWIS STEVENSON reckons Terry Butcher has sent confidence levels so high that the Hibs players are all desperate to shoot on sight – and his late, late goal against Kilmarnock proves it.
The little midfielder hit home with a long-range effort in stoppage time to round off an impressive 3-0 victory against Allan Johnston’s side at Easter Road on Sunday, but he admitted today that just a couple of months ago he would never have even attempted to score.
“I had a few chances and shots before the goal. In fact, the gaffer said I probably had more shots against Kilmarnock than I have had in my whole career,” said Stevenson, who recorded only his second ever goal for the club. “It was nice to get the goal at the end. It was a great ball from James Collins, he did well to see me, he put it right to my foot and I just managed to squeeze it in.
“A couple of days before the game in training I probably scored the best goal in my life, so that gave me the confidence to go out and try a few things. We have all been encouraged to be more positive and after all the shots that I had in the game, in the past I probably would have turned it down.
“I have been trying to play a bit more positively. Before, I was probably more worried about giving the ball away but we have been encouraged to get the ball into the box and have more shots. It worked against Kilmarnock and it worked against Ross County.”
Stevenson is also hoping that it works against Hearts when they host them on Thursday night. Hibs have lost twice to the Jambos already this season – once in the Premiership and once in the League Cup – and Stevenson is desperate to see their poor fortune against their rivals come to an end.
“The last couple of derby games could have gone completely differently. We are still gutted about the last time, but we are going into this one on a decent run of form and we are confident that, if we play how we did on Sunday, we can get a result. But we know that it is going to be tough. It doesn’t really matter what your form is going into a game like this. We know that we need to be on top of our game to get a result.
“We’re dying to beat Hearts. They’ve got the better of us twice already this season but hopefully we can change that on Thursday.”