David Marshall insists Hibs will be better after World Cup as he makes 'up and down' claim
Hibs captain David Marshall believes his side will be better after the World Cup break – but admitted it was gutting going into the mid-season lay-off on the back of a loss, and six defeats in seven matches.
The former Scotland internationalist was beaten just once at Rugby Park as the Easter Road side lost to Kilmarnock, Danny Armstrong’s penalty early in the second half the difference between the two teams, and admitted the visitors had let themselves down in Ayrshire.
“I’m just gutted for us. It’s one of those games. I don’t think you could say it was a lack of application or effort today, I thought we had a lot of real good chances. There was very little in the game but when you concede the first goal it’s difficult,” Marshall said afterwards.
There was a lengthy wait for the penalty decision as VAR checked Marijan Čabraja’s foul on Liam Polworth and Marshall hoped it was the right decision, but admitted to not fully understanding how decisions were made.
"It happened quickly. On the pitch I thought it was a really soft foul at the time, I’ve not seen it again, I just assumed what they were doing was checking inside or outside [the box]. I know the linesman flagged to give the foul – I don’t know the rules, should you flag? I’d assume they’d get inside or outside right. But I don’t know; we had it on Tuesday where the linesman never flagged when I made a save and it was quite clearly offside, then he’s put his flag up [against Kilmarnock] so I don’t know. I honestly, genuinely don’t know the ins-and-outs of the rules. I’m just hoping they got the right decision.
“There is an argument [that I didn’t have much to do] but Kilmarnock were in a position where they’ve taken a 1-0 lead and could afford to sit back and they did. They defended their box really well, so fair play to them,” he added.
Marshall is confident that Hibs can recover some consistency after the break, insisting that the return of players such as Martin Boyle and Kevin Nisbet can help Lee Johnson’s side back to where they want to be from their current position of eighth. He is hopeful the hiatus can be beneficial for the Capital club.
"The last thing you want to do is go into a break losing a game so it’s going to be a long month for us,” he continued. “But football turns quickly. We’ve let ourselves down in four or five league games with really poor performances, but we’ve won four on the spin as well, so it’s up and down. It’s not good enough for the club at the minute but this break will hopefully do us well, Kevin will be back and Aiden McGeady; Martin is obviously away to the World Cup, I thought Harry McKirdy looked good when he came on as well. I think anybody would agree Nisbet’s history in this league is very good, his goalscoring record is excellent. So you’re going to miss that. If we can keep everybody fit there’s no doubt for me we’ll have a better second half of the season. We need to, because the results haven’t been good enough lately.”