Hibs star makes Viaplay Cup semi admission v Aberdeen

Hibs manager Nick Montgomery after the 2-2 draw with Ross County. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)Hibs manager Nick Montgomery after the 2-2 draw with Ross County. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Hibs manager Nick Montgomery after the 2-2 draw with Ross County. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
The player stood out for Hibs v Ross County

Hibs midfielder Dylan Levitt hopes he’s done enough to claim a starting place under Nick Montgomery – and grant him a dream Hampden debut on Saturday. In danger of being lost amid the chaos of Tuesday night’s frustrating 2-2 home draw against Ross County was just how good Levitt looked alongside Jimmy Jeggo.

Asked to deputise for Joe Newell, the Welshman – still working back from injury when Montgomery took over as boss in September – caught the eye with his ability on the ball and range of passing. While Newell is certain to start against Aberdeen in the Viaplay Cup semi-final at the national stadium, Levitt has pressed his claim to be involved.

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Left frustrated by being part of a team who blew a two-goal lead, the 22-year-old declared: “We have to dust ourselves down and get ready for Saturday. That becomes an even bigger game for us now. I’m looking forward to that a lot, my first time at Hampden. We need to get the win and reach the final, which would be a great occasion at the club.

“I’ve been frustrated for a few months. Injuries are part and parcel of football. Obviously it was difficult to be out injured and have the setback just when the new gaffer has come in. But the boys have doing well. And it was good for me to start a game under the new gaffer.

“Hopefully I did enough to take my chance because, obviously, it was a great occasion for me, getting back out there and playing in front of the fans at Easter Road. There’s no better experience in football, so hopefully I did enough to keep my place.

“The way the gaffer sets the system up, it’s perfect for a central midfielder like me to get on the ball and play forward. It gives us the stability and the freedom to go and run the game. All the midfielders have been given similar messages about how he wants us to play, getting on the ball as much as possible and playing forward, trying to break lines.

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“Obviously the defensive work is just getting up to your man, stopping splits, that kind of stuff. Saturday will be tough, it always is. Whenever I’ve played Aberdeen, they’ve been well organised and they obviously have some very dangerous players.

“But the same could be said about us. It will be a tight game, I think, but hopefully we can show what we can do – properly. The County game was tough. It felt like a defeat, conceding two goals in the time we had to hold onto the game.”

Montgomery scheduled a game review session for his players yesterday, with everything – the good and the bad – expected to be on the table. Explaining what the analysis meetings are like, Levitt insisted: “When we review the game, those sessions are good.

“Especially when you go over the little clips, showing us the goals we’ve scored, the goals we’ve conceded, chances created, good build-up play, chances we need to take. And, yes, you can get criticised – but that’s part and parcel of football. You have to take criticism when you need to, get praise when you deserve it.”

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