Hibs debrief: Solid Rocky; No shots on target; Hallberg surprise; Campbell concern

A look back at Hibs’ 0-0 draw against Motherwell at Fir Park in the cinch Premiership.

Thursday, 27th January 2022, 7:00 am

Best player

In a game when both goalkeepers were largely untroubled, it has to be one of the Hibs three defenders. Paul McGinn and Lewis Stevenson were solid, steady and dependable, but let’s give it to the new boy. Rocky Bishiri lined up at the centre of the three-man defence and delivered a no-nonsense performance. On a wet and windy night, the Belgian clearly relished the physical confrontation that played out with Motherwell’s Dutch striker Kevin van Veen and came out on top. After just two games, Rocky is already living up to his name and he will quickly become a fans´ favourite.

Defining moment

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When Hibs did get their chance near the end, Christian Doidge rushed his attempt from the edge of the box when he had time and space to set himself. Composure was lacking when required and it summed up Hibs´ night in front of goal: Four attempts, none on target.

Referee watch

Andrew Dallas booked Stevenson in the fist half and McGinn in the second, but the Hibs defenders could have little complaint. The big talking point, of course, was the second yellow card he showed to Motherwell’s Liam Donnelly for a late tackle on Drey Wright. It looked like a straightforward decision, but Graham Alexander didn’t agree and was sent to the stand for his protests.

Moment you may have missed

Hibs substitute Christian Doidge missed a half chance near the end, but manager Shaun Maloney said he couldn't fault his players at full time

There wasn’t much to miss on the pitch. But there were plenty of eyebrows raised in the press box before the game when the team sheet included Melker Hallberg in the Hibs starting line-up, with Josh Campbell missed out altogether. The Tannoy announcer then compounded the error by reading it our to everyone in the stadium. Hallberg revealed a few days ago that he is not in Shaun Maloney’s plans and is expected to depart soon. He wasn’t even at Fir Park to watch. Lucky him.

Tactical observations

Hibs set up 3-5-2 and were bold enough to go man for man at the back against Motherwell’s front three. But it also meant they couldn’t play out from the back and Matt Macey was therefore forced to kick long. It’s not what Shaun Maloney wants to do, but it wasn’t a night for trying to take Manchester City-style risks. The hosts started in a 4-3-3 shape. That meant the central midfield area was evenly contested, but also gave Hibs wing backs Chris Cadden and Josh Doig plenty of space out wide. Hibs didn’t make enough of that opportunity. They circulated possession very well, enjoying 63% possession, but there was nothing to show for it in the final third. A couple of half chances and no shots on target was not good enough.

Benefit of hindsight

Motherwell's Liam Donnelly is sent off for a second yellow card after a late tackle on Drey Wright

Campbell didn’t have his best game and was taken off early in the second half. He’d only had a handful of first-team appearances before being picked by Jack Ross to start against Rangers in the Premier Sports Cup semi-final. He played very well and has started nearly every game since. The young midfielder is a good prospect and has a contribution to make, but looks like he needs a break to recharge his batteries. Maybe he should have been left off the team sheet after all.

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How the Hibs players rated against Motherwell

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