“Centre half and a striker playing centre midfield”: Manager assesses injury-hit Hibs performance v Hearts
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Gibson was forced to start Leah Eddie as well as Katie Lockwood in midfield at Easter Road for the derby. Injuries have plagued his team all year, with key players such as Rachel Boyle and Shannon McGregor both out until the end of the season. However despite this difficulty, Gibson is pleased that Hibs stepped up to the occasion.
“The first half was pretty even,” he told the Edinburgh Evening News. “Hearts may have had a bit more possession, but we had more attempts on goal. Not many but more. More shots on target, not many but more. First half was pretty even. I don’t think either team deserved to be 1-0 up at half time and a draw would have been fairer but we created our chance and took it. I was pleased with the first half.
“The message at half time was that we needed to do a little bit better with the ball, create more possession. We probably didn’t do that in the second half. That’s not a criticism of the players of the players on the field.
“I have a centre half in centre midfield, I’ve got a striker playing centre midfield. That’s where we are at at the moment. I’m asking players to fill holes, do jobs and they are more than doing it for me. I am proud and delighted of the group to perform in a game of this magnitude live on Sky.”
It was the third consecutive 1-1 draw played out between the two teams with little to separate them. Ava Kuyken would have been disappointed not to see the game out after being substituted in the first half, but Gibson confirmed that it was due to injury.
“I had to make that sub early through injury,” he added. “We are trying to get by at the moment and it’s hard. Overall, I am proud of the group and also disappointed that we just couldn’t hold on.”