Three things we learned from Hibs 3 - 0 Arbroath

Three Hibs-related observations as the Easter Road men assumed pole position in Betfred Cup Group C

Tuesday, 23rd July 2019, 10:15 pm
Josh Vela was impressive in midfield on his Hibs debut. Pic: SNS
Josh Vela was impressive in midfield on his Hibs debut. Pic: SNS

Vela voom

Hibs’ latest recruit Josh Vela made his first start in a green and white jersey. Granted, he will come up against much sterner opposition than Arbroath as the season wears on, however he looked every bit the player he proclaims to be. The Englishman demanded the ball at every opportunity, no matter where he was on the park. Robust in the tackle, the former Bolton midfielder looks as if he can play a bit going forward that will give Paul Heckingbottom another dimension. Pass the ball around with purpose and is only likely to get better. A hugely satisfying debut.

More urgency

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Hibs had looked laboured at times in their previous Betfred Cup games against Stirling Albion and Alloa. However, against the Red Lichties there was a tempo about the home side from the first whistle. They looked hungry, chased down their opponents and got their rewards as early as the third minute. Although the personnel is somewhat different from the one he assumed in February, this resembled a performance of a Heckingbottom team from last term. The manager will hope his players reach the next level against Elgin on Friday and so on.

Goalkeeper position no clearer

As expected, Heckingbottom rotated his man between the sticks with Chris Maxwell replacing Ofir Marciano from Saturday's win over Alloa. The Hibs boss is only too aware what the Israeli international brings to the table as he produced some fine shot-stopping performances towards the end of last season. Maxwell, on the other hand, has had little to do in the two cup matches he has started since joining on loan from Preston North End earlier this month. He did save a couple of penalties in the shootout against Stirling as the Capital men claimed an extra bonus point, but that is clutching at straws. A familiar pattern is expected to follow with Marciano set to start at Elgin on Friday.