Hibs boss Lee Johnson explains thinking behind Demetri Mitchell's first-half substitution against Ross County
Hibs manager Lee Johnson has explained his thinking behind the first-half substitution of Demetri Mitchell in Tuesday night’s 2-0 defeat by Ross County.
The 25-year-old made his first league start for the Easter Road side since February 9 as he replaced Marijan Čabraja on the left of a midfield five. The former Manchester United youth whipped in a couple of crosses during his time on the pitch but made way for veteran full-back Lewis Stevenson six minutes before the half-time interval.
Speaking afterwards Johnson talked through the decision to shuffle his pack following Friday night’s 4-1 defeat by Aberdeen, and outlined his reasons for bringing Mitchell off before the break.
"We shuffled it around, we tried to be solid with three centre-halves, but then we lacked a bit of width high and wide and didn't get the timing of our movements right. Demi hasn't played in a while and just didn't look right. Nothing against him but we are where we are,” the Hibs boss said.
"Him and his parter have just had a baby; his missus had a caesarean a couple of days ago, and maybe that has had an effect in terms of sleep patterns. On top of that it’s his first start in a long time. He also had a slight illness about a week, ten days ago."
Johnson now plans to work with his squad to try to pull them out of the funk that has seen them lose five games out of six. Saturday brings with it a trip to face Kilmarnock, who have only lost two home games all season, and a match-up with Derek McInnes who knows about beating Hibs from his time with Aberdeen.
“I envisaged Demi’s performance, and that of the team as a whole, as being a lot different to what it actually was. In terms of our two centre-forwards, Myko has been fantastic but that was probably his worst game for us. Everyone’s important, but I’m always going to look at myself first,” Johnson added.
"I want to rally round the lads a little bit now. It’s my job to, certainly not dig anybody out, but to create a bit of a cause when everybody doesn’t fancy us for a couple of weeks. We’ve now got to come out fighting against Kilmarnock on Saturday.”