Hibs star urges team to capitalise on fearsome firepower

More of this, please: Emi Marcondes celebrates after opening the score at Tynecastle.More of this, please: Emi Marcondes celebrates after opening the score at Tynecastle.
More of this, please: Emi Marcondes celebrates after opening the score at Tynecastle.
Attacking left back let off the leash - and loving it

A stronger midfield and a tweaked formation have granted Jordan Obita the freedom of movement that every attacking fullback craves. Now he’s aiming to turn that liberation into something more tangible – goals and wins to go with dominant Hibs performances.

Leaving aside all penalty debates for a moment, the fact that Hibs had six shots on target and nine blocked efforts in Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw with Hearts at Tynecastle points to a team moving in the right direction. You don’t have to be a fully paid-up member of the analytics community to recognise that an xG (expected goals) figure of 2.54, compared to the home side’s 1.54, tells a tale of attacking prowess.

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A lot of that extra go-forward at the top of the team is, ironically, attributable to the addition of Nathan Moriah-Welsh as a midfield anchor. And the switch to a 4-2-3-1 formation that encourages real fluidity in the front four, with Myziane Maolida drifting in from the left wing – and leaving loads of space for Obita to attack.

Referencing his team’s overall shots total – on and off target – of 21, the Englishman said: “That’s the sort of stuff we want to be getting. If we can turn 21 shots into double figures in shots on target, and get a few goals, that’s what we’re aiming for.

“That extra player in midfield does allow us full-backs to venture forward. It’s good for me and Millsy (right back Lewis Miller). I do enjoy getting forward to get balls in the box or getting some shots off.

“All the wingers we have are very good. At the moment, it’s Myziane and we have a good relationship. There are times I try to leave him one-on-one, or we can have two-v-one moments where he can pass me the ball and I get a cross in. That’s what we try to do, expose the full-back.

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“Luckily, I’ve had to play against Myziane too much in training. Watching him against other full-backs, it would be a nightmare! The guy is so comfortable on both feet, and he’s very good at dribbling.”

For all the threat he carried, Maolida – moved to centre forward when Dylan Vente tired in the closing stages – did miss a more-than-decent chance to open the scoring. There is a feeling that a bit of composure in the box might have seen Hibs run out comfortable winners in Gorgie.

But Obita, an ever present under Nick Montgomery and already setting his sights on Ross County at home on Saturday, insisted: “I don’t agree; I think they (Hearts) just made some good blocks.

“There were two or three cleared off the line, which is good defending from them. If we take those chances, then we could have killed the game.

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“We were the better team. We created the most chances, they’ve made a few blocks and cleared a few off the line. We deserved to win the game.

“We have all our players back from injury and internationals are back, too. The quality here is very good, and I believe we can turn a massive corner and progress."

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