Hibs debrief: Paul Hanlon's performance, the contentious midfield trio, tardiness among the substitutes
A look back at Saturday’s match in Paisley as Hibs lost 1-0 to St Mirren.
Player of the match
There are only three contenders for this. Chris Cadden put in a typically powerful shift down the right, while Joe Newell was the best of the midfield three and was unlucky not to score with a low shot. This may seem like a strange shout, especially given Hibs’ defensive frailties, but Paul Hanlon had a strong game individually at centre-back. Well, for 80 minutes anyway. Against two robust strikers, the type he can often struggle against, he dominated. His performance did take a bit of a dip in the final ten after Eamonn Brophy came on. If we’re being kind we can put that down to a lack of match fitness.
You could pick any number of occasions where Cadden got into a good position on the flank, put in a decent cross and saw it evade everyone. Hibs had aspects of their play that were decent enough. They just couldn’t put it all together, especially in the final third.
It was the first top-flight game for Graham Grainger this season but he didn’t appear out of his depth. There were no big contentious decisions and, from a Hibs perspective, his leniency worked in their favour when he chose to have a word with Elie Youan instead of showing a second booking for an ill-advised foul in the far corner.
Benefit of hindsight
From Jack Ross to Shaun Maloney and now Lee Johnson, Hibs managers have fallen foul of starting a midfield three of Joe Newell, Jake Doyle-Hayes and Josh Campbell. It rarely seems to have the desired effect and the Easter Road support are simply fed up of seeing the trio together. A quality No.10 is badly needed. If the club cannot go out and get one before the end of the window, they’d better hope Kyle Magennis is able to recapture his form from the beginning of last season when he finally returns from injury.
Moment you may have missed
Assistant manager Jamie McAllister was far from impressed with the tardiness of the substitutes as Lewis Miller and Momodou Bojang prepared to come on near the end. The words “get f****** ready”, or something to that effect, were audible.