Josh Campbell reflects on Hibs winner and 'Swiss army knife' role as opening-day hero rallies troops ahead of Edinburgh derby
If you were to take a quick glance at Josh Campbell’s stats for the season so far you would see two goals and one assist from five matches.
But, as the late Aberdeen manager Ebbe Skovdahl once pointed out, statistics often hide the important parts.
Managers look to substitutes to change games, and Hibs boss Lee Johnson deserves credit for his decision to throw the versatile 22-year-old on for the last 13 minutes in place of the injured Chris Cadden when he could very easily have put on Lewis Miller, perhaps a more natural fit for the position.
Campbell may well turn out to be Johnson’s Swiss army knife this season. He has already filled in at left-back, central midfield, and right-wingback and his fitness and stamina hasn’t gone unnoticed by the coaching staff.
"The manager hasn't said much in terms of a specific role but I'm happy to do a job anywhere and I think he knows that as well,” a delighted Campbell said after the game.
"I'm happy to do a job anywhere on the pitch as needed and I was called upon when Cadds got injured and I'm happy to do that."
"It's hard when you come on against a team like that which is sitting in with ten men and you're pushing for it but it's a great feeling to get a last-minute winner in front of the fans."
Was it even his goal, though? Rocky Bushiri might have had something to say about who got the last touch on the ball.
"I've been told it's mine. I've just seen the video and it looks like it's mine so I'm taking it,” Campbell replied with a grin.
"It looks like it's over the line in the video. I couldn't see because I was on the ground with my back to the goal but it looks like it's all me.
"Rocky was screaming in my ear in French but I couldn't really hear him or understand what he was saying."
One suspects neither player nor anyone else in the dressing room will lose too much sleep over who really got the last touch – the most important part was getting the win after 90 minutes in which Hibs had produced plenty of chances but not really tested Remi Matthews in the Saints goal.
Three points to start the season, a morale-booster ahead of next weekend’s Edinburgh derby, and a good way to bounce back from a forgettable Premier Sports Cup campaign.
"It's been a disappointing week going out of the cup so it was good to give the fans something today, especially when they turned out in such numbers,” Campbell agreed.
"It's maybe partly down to luck. Sometimes last year it felt like no luck was going our way and on Saturday it obviously did."
Hibs host Hearts on Sunday and boyhood Hibee Campbell hopes the manner of Saturday’s victory can boost the home side next weekend.
"We've added more experience this season with David Marshall and Aiden McGeady and they will help the young boys around them, especially me – I'm still one of the young ones and it helps a lot hearing from those two,” he continued.
"We're confident going into every game but the win [against St Johnstone] definitely helps going into next week."