Michael Weir: Hibs veteran’s versatility a big positive for Paul Heckingbottom
What a great result for Hibs on Saturday. I thought Motherwell were going to be a real test but Paul Heckingbottom’s side put in a superb performance and deservedly took the points which have now made a top-six finish look almost certain.
It’s been a fantastic month for the new head coach, the disappointment of going out of the Scottish Cup to Celtic aside. I don’t think he could have asked for much more than 13 points out of 15 and it’s obvious the results achieved have sent the players’ confidence soaring.
I was disappointed in Motherwell as they’d gone into the game as the Premiership’s in-form team but, apart from that first-minute scare when Lewis Stevenson turned the ball against his own post, Hibs were well in command.
They looked really strong, worked well as a team and with a real work ethic about them. Darren McGregor has been a big player for us but his ban saw Mark Milligan drop into central defence alongside Paul Hanlon and I thought he did tremendously well.
He read the game superbly, his positional play was faultless and all the experience he has shone through. Heckingbottom must be delighted he has a player like Milligan who can play in a number of positions equally well.
I remember a time at Hibs when we missed penalty after penalty but Marc McNulty never looks as if he will miss when presented with a spot-kick. His goal put us in the driving seat but it’s his overall game which is great to watch. He causes defences all sorts of problems, offers himself for the pass no matter where he is on the pitch and fully deserves his Scotland call-up.
There were a number of other very good performances, Daryl Horgan and Stephane Omeonga to name but two. To me, though, Hibs’ game management was outstanding. A 2-0 lead can be a problem, lose one and the nerves set in, but they never looked like doing so.