'It's something I need to improve on' - Joe Newell makes Hibs admission after winner against Kilmarnock
Joe Newell admits he needs to score more goals after netting the winner for Hibs in their 1-0 victory over Kilmarnock.
The midfielder struck from 20 yards with 12 minutes on the clock after his free kick, following Ash Taylor’s last-man foul on Martin Boyle and subsequent red card, was parried by visiting ‘keeper Sam Walker.
Newell is now on three goals for the season so far – half his career total in a Hibs shirt.
Speaking afterwards the 29-year-old said, as he often does on the rare occasions he finds the net, that it’s something he needs to work on.
“I know I can add goals to my game – I did it earlier in my career, so I have been trying to get into the box a bit more and have the confidence to keep shooting,” the man of the match told HibsTV.
Lee Johnson’s system makes use of three midfielders but with the defensive-minded Nohan Kenneh patrolling the deeper areas, Newell has more licence to get forward.
With the energetic Josh Campbell making up the engine-room trio against the Ayrshire side, Hibs looked a lot stronger in the middle of the park than they did against St Mirren last weekend when Keanu Baccus struck early to give the Buddies a 1-0 win.
“Getting goals from midfield is a big plus for any side so it’s definitely something that I have been trying to improve and carry on this season,” he added.
“Playing as one of three in midfield allows me to get a bit further forward, so I can get into those areas of the pitches where I can score goals.”
Just as Jake Doyle-Hayes had a group of friends visiting from Ireland when he bagged a brilliant brace against Ross County last season, Newell also had familiar faces in the stand to witness his match-winning goal.
“My niece and nephew were here today so the goal today meant a bit more to me,”he explained.
"Goals from me don’t come around too often so it was nice that my brother, his wife and my niece and nephew were here to see it.”
Discussing the game as a whole, Newell insisted Hibs had fully deserved the three points, despite Derek McInnes’ side making life difficult for the hosts.
“We fully deserved it today,” Newell continued.
“The intensity was there, we played on the front foot with aggression and we looked a lot more like how we aim to play today.
“The sending-off obviously changed things, but even before that we started well and got a well-deserved early goal."
Despite the man advantage, Hibs failed to add to their lead with Momodou Bojang, Ewan Henderson, Harry McKirdy, Ryan Porteous, and Élie Youan all going close at various points during the rest of the game and Newell admitted there was plenty to work on when the group returns to the training ground this week.
“Our performance got a bit stale towards the end and a little bit impatient so there are things we can work on,” he conceded.
“We should have scored more goals today but sometimes it can be hard against ten men.
"At the end of the day, after the performance and the result in Paisley the main thing was getting the three points, and we did that.”