David Gray explains how veteran and teenager are making Hibs hard to beat
Hibs coach David Gray has hailed the impact Paul Hanlon and Nohan Kenneh are having on the team after three clean sheets out of four.
The pair are at opposite ends of the age and experience spectrum but both have played key roles in the recent run of four league wins on the bounce by shutting up shop at the back.
After undergoing surgery in the summer, Hanlon returned ahead of schedule in mid-August when Rocky Bushiri picked up an injury, but is now up to speed and his partnership with in-form Ryan Porteous has been a key contributor to Hibs’ success in recent weeks. The skipper passed another milestone on Saturday, moving up to fifth in the list of club record appearances.
Gray said: “You don't play as many games for the club without being a top player. He's been fantastic for us for many years. He probably won't mind me saying but, because he missed a bit of pre-season, he got flung in a little bit at the start of it. But now you're starting to see the top player he is and, alongside Ryan Porteous, the two of them have been outstanding.
“The good thing is that, looking at the squad, we've got another two or three centre-halves right behind them who are pushing them every single day. There's competition for places, which is great.”
Kenneh, 19, is another player who has been improving every week since joining from Leeds United in the summer and Gray believes there is more to come from the holding midfielder. “It's something we need to remind ourselves of, he's only 19-years-old and he's done fantastically well, going from under-23 football at Leeds last season and coming in here playing week in, week out. He's only going to get better. He's a real good lad and he works hard. I'm sure he's going to be a really good player for us moving forward.”
Hibs can create a four-point gap between them and St Mirren in fourth if they make it five wins in a row away to Dundee United on Tuesday.
“We’re in a really good place at the moment,” added Gray. “We have players coming back to give us competition for places. Everyone is enjoying it. Results are good and confidence is high.”