How Hibs can beat Aberdeen - by the last man to score a winner at Pittodrie
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Only one of those three things could happen again this weekend, with the Welsh striker back in the first-team squad at Easter Road despite appearing close to an exit last season when he was sent on loan to Kilmarnock.
"We didn’t do anything too special that day, we were defensive, did well and managed to get a goal on the break,” he recalls. “We’re going to have to be tight and probably suffer a little bit but if we do that I’m sure we’ll get the opportunity to win the game.
"Aberdeen are a good side, they’ve always been up there at the top of the league and been a really good well-organised outfit. They’re in the same position as us, really, in losing in Europe in midweek. They’ve got to concentrate on the league now, they’ve started quite well so we need to just worry about ourselves and start our league season off.”
Doidge has already bagged two goals and two assists in ten games so far this season and is itching to add more during what could be his final year at the club. He started on Thursday night against Aston Villa but was replaced early in the second half, perhaps with a view to keeping him fresh for Sunday. He came close with a first-half effort at Villa Park but admits it was a big ask after the first-leg result.
“We were disappointed to lose on Thursday, the first leg really killed us. Going there it was about trying to keep it tight and I thought we did that quite well. We were always going to be a little bit more defensive down there. But when you’re playing the quality of Aston Villa it’s difficult. We have to learn from it but we’re very aware of how good a side they are.”
It remains to be seen if Hibs can get their first points of the 2023/24 campaign on the board this weekend but there certainly seemed to be a bit of a change in the players’ performance on Thursday.
“It’s disappointing when a manager loses his job, it’s never nice. A lot of time it’s down to the performances of the team but the manager takes the blame for it,” Doidge continues. “But we’ve always been together as a group even if sometimes our performances haven’t shown that. We’ve a big few weeks coming up and we need to get some points on the board.”
Interim boss David Gray described Sunday’s game as a ‘cup final’ and Doidge agrees with the former Easter Road captain who, he reveals, has some ideas that he hopes will shore up the leaky Hibs defence.
“That’s exactly what he said to us. It’s a big game. We need some points on the board and what a way to do it, at Aberdeen away. We have to do a lot of work on the training pitch, we’ve addressed it, we’ve spoken about it as a group and we have to tighten up a few things. Dave’s got some ideas that he’s going to do with us and we’ll see how it goes on Sunday.”