'Didn't get the reward' - Interim Hibs boss hails input of one key man against Aberdeen
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The 35-year-old was delighted with the effort and commitment shown by his players following their Thursday night exertions against Aston Villa with patience eventually producing Le Fondre’s opener on 75 minutes, while persistence and determination led to Doidge’s headed second six minutes later. But it was summer signing Dylan Vente who got a namecheck from the caretaker boss for his efforts during his time on the park.
The Dutchman was rested on Thursday night at Villa Park to keep him fresh for the vital trip to the Granite City, and put in a shift up top as the focal point in a front three and although he didn’t find the net, his tireless work rate earned praise from the coaching staff.
Praising the effort put in by his players, Gray said: "Even the subs came on and gave us absolutely everything, to the point that they got the goals, but Dylan Vente worked extremely hard for 65, 70 minutes. He maybe didn't get the reward of a goal, but the collective performance was worthy of the three points.”
Speaking earlier this season, Vente said: “Before I came here I hadn’t played for three or four weeks, so I am still working on my fitness. But playing every three days has helped get my fitness up to speed,” he explained. “I came to Hibs to score goals and be an important player for the team, that was my goal. It is my job to do that so hopefully I can add a lot more during my time here.”
Meanwhile, former Hibs manager John Hughes has backed Gray for the Easter Road hotseat – but not straight away.
Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsound programme, he said: “One day, David Gray will be Hibs manager. I've no doubt about it. If they're going to give him the job, he'd never turn it down, but this is his testimonial year and I'm worried it would spoil his legacy. For these big jobs, I think you need experience, have a few failures but come back for more.”