How John Terry has helped Hibs become more of a threat at set-plays as Lee Johnson explains centre-back gripe

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Hibs manager Lee Johnson declared himself ‘really pleased’ with the three points against St Mirren – but rebuked his team for making hard work of the victory.

Élie Youan opened the scoring after four minutes, pouncing on a Buddies throw-in on the halfway line, driving towards goal, and finishing past Trevor Carson while Will Fish added what turned out to be the winner, heading home following a Joe Newell corner.

Speaking afterwards Johnson appeared both satisfied and slightly irritated. "We should have had more control than we did,” he said. "We didn't dominate the midfield at all in the second half and in the first half we were very dominant.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"But a lot of the stuff we worked on through the week was executed to perfection. I thought the ball speed and our passing and movement was good; we had good opportunities in the first half. In the second half, for whatever reason, we just fizzled out; not enough were on their game but in saying that we continued to work hard, we shuffled the pack and changed the shape to cope with a St Mirren side who were throwing caution to the wind after the poor goal we conceded and in the end, it was good to see it out – and even in injury time I think we managed it quite well.”

Will Fish scores what turned out to be the winner for Hibs against St MirrenWill Fish scores what turned out to be the winner for Hibs against St Mirren
Will Fish scores what turned out to be the winner for Hibs against St Mirren

Pointing out that centre-back pairing Fish and Paul Hanlon had been instrumental in the second goal for his side – the club captain attacking the ball at the front post and Fish finishing at the back stick – Johnson explained his methods behind increasing his team’s chances from set-plays.

"In the past I've spoken to John Terry about getting up into the box and having that mentality to go and score a goal, the aggression to win the space and then hope the ball lands in your zone. Paul Hanlon, who nearly got hold of it, and then Will Fish, who finished it, were both in front of their man, moving at pace with aggression. Sometimes I think they wait too long; they wait until the ball's kicked and then try to get the flight of it and they can't get the momentum, but they were very aggressive, the two of them, and that's what we need because they're big lads and we need more goals from set-plays.”

Attention now turns to maintaining this good form, with Hibs unbeaten in three as they aim to finish as high up the cinch Premiership table as possible, and qualify for Europe.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"This team is still growing; it hasn't had that long together but there's a bit more Scottish Premiership experience, and a bit more international experience in there,” Johnson continued.

"You learn to see out games like that and that's something we struggled with at the start of the season. Overall it's a great win for us. It's an important win, because of that fifth place but also we're now chasing down the pack and everybody ahead of us. There are tough games as we know but that's what you expect in the top six.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.