Three things we learned from Motherwell 3-0 Hibs
Here are three Hibs-related observations following a chastening afternoon for the Easter Road side at Fir Park.
Hecky up against it
It may be early in the season but Paul Heckingbottom now appears to have lost the vast majority of the Hibs support. There was already significant discontent among the fanbase in the lead-up to this trip to Fir Park and the abject manner of this defeat has left his stock at an all-time low. “Hecky, Hecky get tae f***” was the chant from a section of the travelling support after the second goal went in. As things stand, and with a tough fixture list on the horizon, it is hard to see how things will turn in favour of the increasingly embattled manager.
Squad short of required quality
The most worrying thing for Heckingbottom is that the squad he currently has at his disposal doesn’t look equipped for a successful season. Sometimes a team can be underperforming and it is generally accepted that the players are capable of a whole lot better and everything will soon click into gear. But this Hibs team doesn’t appear to be one of them. Outwith Florian Kamberi and Scott Allan, who were both snuffed out by Motherwell, there is very little established attacking quality in the team while the team’s defensive security, for a variety of reasons, has gone to pot. With Martin Boyle sidelined long term, the notion of the transfer window closing on Monday without any significant transfer activity will send a shiver up the spine of every Hibs fan.
There’s a lot riding on Hallberg
Stevie Mallan and Vykintas Slivka have both had good moments in a Hibs jersey, and both, individually, bring their own qualities to the team. But at a venue like Fir Park, where winning the battle is imperative, a midfield which features Mallan and Slivka as its two main grafters is unlikely to bear fruit. With Josh Vela, a late substitute at Fir Park, still not fully up to speed and yet to convince in a Hibs jersey, supporters can only hope that Melker Hallberg, the recently-signed Swedish midfielder who was an unused sub in Lanarkshire, can bring the required authority, energy and aggression to the engine room.