Ex-Hibs goalkeeper John Burridge insists current team need to go back to basics
Former Hibs goalkeeper John Burridge believes the current Easter Road side need to go back to basics to arrest their declining form in the cinch Premiership.
Lee Johnson’s side slipped to eighth in the league table after last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Kilmarnock. It extended their losing streak and stretches a run which has saw them lose six of their last seven games.
They still remain just five points off third place going into the break for the World Cup, but face a murderer’s row of fixtures upon their return. In their first five matches following the Scottish top-flight’s revival, they face both halves of the Old Firm, fourth-place Livingston, rivals Hearts at Tynecastle and travel to Fir Park to meet Motherwell.
There are returning players with the likes of Kyle Magennis, Martin Boyle and Kevin Nisbet expected to be back in action. But Burridge believes manager Lee Johnson and the players need to make alterations at both ends of the park.
A 1991 Skol Cup winner with the Leith club during his two-year spell in Edinburgh, Burridge still watches the majority of Hibs matches from his home in Oman and hasn’t been impressed with what those in green-and-white have been offering up of late.
"You need to keep clean sheets. That's number one. If you keep clean sheets then you win football matches. Goals win games but clean sheets win championships,” he told the Evening News.
“It's all pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, across the back four into the midfield. You get 15 passes in a row and everyone thinks "that's brilliant football". It's not brilliant football because you haven't scored.
“When you do that, when you pass it along the back, it let's the opposing team get into their shape. The full-backs stay back, tuck in, with the back four, five in midfield and one up front. That's very hard to break down.
“You need to get balls over the top. Strikers always want balls over the top. You need to get the ball forward and have shots on goal. Do it in four or five passes.”