Hibs debrief: Free Scott Allan... or unearth the new John McGinn

Let’s get one thing straight: Hibs have a midfield most clubs outside Celtic and Rangers wouldn’t turn their noses up at.

Saturday, 6th March 2021, 8:20 pm
Updated Sunday, 7th March 2021, 9:43 am
Scott Allan was reduced to a watching brief once again

The only thing missing is a John McGinn-type figure; someone to pick up the ball and surge into the opponents’ half, causing mayhem and creating chances with their sheer drive and determination.

Hibs have struggled to adequately replace McGinn since his departure. Plenty of players have been tried out in the position without great success. Even switching up the system – Jack Ross has tried most formations available to him – hasn’t borne fruit.

With no such player at the club, surely in games where Hibs are crying out for a talismanic figure capable of unlocking defences, they could do worse than pop Scott Allan on for 30 minutes? One of those delicious reverse passes, a chance for Kevin Nisbet or Christian Doidge, and Hibs could have a vital goal, or a second, or a third.

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Obviously Hibs are managing him carefully after his health scare but the team is absolutely crying out for a player of his talents.

Player of the match

Josh Doig by a country mile. Probably partly at fault for the St Johnstone goal but embarked on a one-man mission to equalise in the second half and came close twice. Honourable mention to Paul Hanlon.

Defining moment

Joe Newell’s effort in the first half. While the midfielder is not known for his prowess in front of goal, had he buried this one the game might have turned out differently for Hibs.

Referee watch

David Dickinson had an interesting Scottish Premiership debut. Seemed overly fussy sometimes, but rather lenient at others. Might have sent off David Wotherspoon for two similar bookable offences, but didn’t. Booked Jack Ross late on.

In case you missed it…

At one point in the first half, Jack Ross strode to the edge of his technical area and shouted at his defence. This might not seem strange, but it’s John Potter and occasionally Craig Samson who normally do most of the bawling from the dugout. It’s very unusual to hear Ross getting that animated, even in quiet stadiums. He gets a lot of flak for various things but there’s no doubting his passion and desire to succeed.

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