Jamie Murphy determined to help Hibs bounce back from Dundee United defeat

It's hard to imagine an attacking front four comprising Scott Allan, Martin Boyle, Jamie Murphy, and Kevin Nisbet struggling for goals, never mind shots on target, but in Saturday’s dismal defeat by Dundee United, Hibs lacked a cutting edge in the final third.

Jamie Murphy is determined to help Hibs bounce back from defeat
Jamie Murphy is determined to help Hibs bounce back from defeat

Nisbet was denied a consolation goal by visiting ‘keeper Benji Siegrist towards the end while Murphy had a couple of promising openings in the second half.

Allan didn’t make it out for the second period as Jack Ross threw on James Scott in a bid to turn things in Hibs’ favour but despite the hosts venturing into the opposition penalty area with more frequency in the second half, no goal was forthcoming.

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Murphy, making his first start since August after spending a period of time on the sidelines, was at a loss to explain such a lacklustre performance from the Capital club as he took on post-match media duties.

Murphy felt Hibs were beaten by the better team

"We’re disappointed, obviously. As a team we know we can do a lot better, especially at home. It’s never good to lose but to lose 3-0 was obviously worse,” the winger said after the final whistle on Saturday.

"There are a number of things you can probably put it down to but it’s hard to put your finger on just one. We were beaten by the better team on the day.

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"I think sometimes you just have to hold your hands up. We didn't perform to the level that we're supposed to and know that we can do, so we've got a lot of work to do on the training pitch to fix it.”

Asked if the comprehensive defeat was perhaps a reality check for a Hibs side that has received plenty of plaudits so far this campaign, Murphy gave a considered response and suggested that the group took little notice of what was said, or not said, about the team’s form.

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"We just go about our business, and we do things right, and that wasn't us doing things right today. We train hard, we try and do the best we can and then show that we can go out on a Saturday and perform and that wasn’t us performing. So we just need to look at ourselves and try to be better next week.”

Hibs could have Kyle Magennis back from injury for the trip to Aberdeen while vice-captain Paul McGinn was also unavailable, along with the suspended Ryan Porteous.

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Murphy, who has just come back from injury himself, did try to make things happen for Hibs in the final third but conceded that sometimes things just don’t go to plan.

"It’s not just that though; it’s not all about luck and the ball not falling here or falling there. They were better than us today.

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"That’s what we need to look at and I’m sure we'll analyse the game on Monday morning when we get back in, try to sort the wrongs and go again.”

Hibs have now lost two on the bounce but travel to Pittodrie next weekend hoping to bounce back – and possibly inflict further misery on the Dons, who are now winless in ten games having lost their last five including Saturday evening’s 2-1 loss to Dundee at Dens Park.

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"We’re not going to just chuck it after one defeat,” Murphy continued. “We’re going to keep trying, starting with the game at Aberdeen next week.

"Hopefully this is the only low point for us this year and we can learn from it, try to get better, and go into next week full of confidence. It's going to be hard after this result but I’m sure we’ll do things right. It’s a good group of boys in there, and staff as well. Everyone will be in on Monday morning trying to fix it and working hard to prepare for next week.”

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The 32-year-old is adamant that Hibs can treat the loss to Tam Courts’ side as a blip, even if it did see them slip out of the top four in the Scottish Premiership for the first time since the 2019/20 season.

Revealing that Ross has mentioned that stat a few times to the players, Murphy added: “I had a look at the table after the game was finished and saw we were down to fifth which is disappointing.

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"We don’t want to be down there. I think we’ve set a standard that we want to be top four, or top three, so that’s what we’re looking at.

"Maybe in the past teams have dropped out [of the top places]. We don’t want it to be like that. We want it to be that we’re pushing for third every year.

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"I’m sure we’ll fix it, but it’s disappointing to have lost today and be out the top places.”

Murphy made a quicker return than expected from a recurrence of the hamstring injury that dogged him last season after limping out of the 2-0 win against Livingston at the end of August, coming off the bench at Ibrox before starting against the Terrors.

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In a game short on bright spots for those of a green and white persuasion, the winger was happy to have got more gametime under his belt.

"Trying to put a positive spin on things, it was the first 90 minutes I’ve completed for a while,” he said.

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"The legs felt good but just glad to get through it and I’m already looking forward to next week.”

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