Stubbs: Hibs strikers not to blame for poor run

Dominique Malonga hasn't scored since February although the return of Farid El Alagui, above left, has boosted Hibs
Dominique Malonga hasn't scored since February although the return of Farid El Alagui, above left, has boosted Hibs
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Alan Stubbs is adamant that Hibs’ misfiring strikers are not to blame for the team’s recent slump.

The Easter Road side have notched only one goal – scored by midfielder Fraser Fyvie – as they have lost their last three games in succession. Between them, the striking quartet of Jason Cummings, Dominique Malonga, Martin Boyle and Franck Dja Djedje have accounted for only four goals in Hibs’ last seven matches, with Cummings and Dja Djedje hitting two apiece in that period.

However, Stubbs, who has been able to add the fit-again Farid El Alagui to the attacking mix, is confident the goals will start flowing again soon.

“You always want to see your strikers scoring goals, but just because we’re not scoring goals, it’s not necessarily down to the strikers,” said the head coach ahead of tonight’s Championship trip to Dumbarton. “We score goals as a team. When we’re not scoring goals, we have to ask if we’re creating enough chances.

“When we were scoring goals, we were scoring from all areas of the team, so it’s not just the strikers who haven’t been scoring. Yes, it’s something we’ve looked at and spoken about but the strikers are not necessarily the main reason we’ve not been scoring. As long as they keep getting in the right places and doing the right things, that’s the most important thing.”

Malonga’s dip in form has been particularly notable, the 26-year-old having scored only two goals – a double against Dumbarton in February – since returning from Africa Cup of Nations duty with Congo.

“Before Dom went to Africa he was scoring goals, then he went away for a month and he barely played over there,” said Stubbs. “It has taken him a bit of time because he lost a little bit of fitness while he wasn’t playing and he also had a niggling injury last month.”