Hibs boss Shaun Maloney backs Elias Melkersen after striker blows late chance to bag winner against Dundee United

Shaun Maloney has backed Hibs striker Elias Melkersen to bounce back after blowing a chance to score a late winner in the 1-1 draw with Dundee United.
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The 19-year-old was presented with a glorious chance to fire an injury-time winner for Hibs after good work by Chris Mueller on the left but he skied his effort.

He cut a dejected figure leaving the pitch but his manager has backed him to use it as a learning experience.

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"He's devastated, but you have to remember he's a kid. He's only had three or four games for us, it's a big moment in the game, and we could be talking about something very different,” Maloney said afterwards.

Hibs boss Shaun Maloney consoles Elias Melkersen at full timeHibs boss Shaun Maloney consoles Elias Melkersen at full time
Hibs boss Shaun Maloney consoles Elias Melkersen at full time

"But at the same time, he has to use it. We're going to have big matches every game; each week seems like it's bigger than the last.

"He's going to have another opportunity like that but he has to make sure the next outcome is different, and I'm sitting here speaking about a different result.”

Mueller had earlier been booked for simulation in the area, a decision that angered the American winger, and Maloney agreed that the call had been harsh.

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"There was contact. From what I've seen it was maybe the wrong decision but these things happen. I don't want to constantly talk every week about them but maybe that one could have gone slightly differently.

"These things seem to be happening at the moment. We have to move on from it pretty quickly.”

One positive from the disappointing draw was the performance of debutant Harry Clarke, who scored on the stroke of half-time shortly after a long-range effort was tipped over by Benji Siegrist.

Maloney continued: “We’re really disappointed with the result, but on the other side the performance was very good.

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"I’m really pleased for Harry as an individual. As a team, his goal was a boost before half-time but it didn't alter some of the thoughts I had about the first half.

"But it was a really big boost for him – he's worked incredibly hard and it was a good moment in the game for him.”

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