Levitt strike a moment of sweet release for Hibs midfielder carrying heavy load

Levitt celebrates with team-mates Nathan Moriah-Welsh, Nectar Triantis and Lewis Miller.Levitt celebrates with team-mates Nathan Moriah-Welsh, Nectar Triantis and Lewis Miller.
Levitt celebrates with team-mates Nathan Moriah-Welsh, Nectar Triantis and Lewis Miller. | SNS Group
Welsh international shrugs aside praise and focuses on team efforts

It’s a measure of Dylan Levitt’s character that he would rather talk about the collective efforts of his team-mates than focus on his own personal contribution, however spectacular or important. He was never likely to bask in the spotlight generated by his wonderfully taken goal against Celtic.

Among those who have worked with him during an increasingly difficult season, however, there is a rush to give Levitt his due. To push the case of a player who, in all honesty, has looked like a man caught in the midst of some terrible torment for a few months now.

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If his performance in Wednesday night’s agonising loss to Celtic still lacked a bit of composure at key moments, Levitt definitely added something to the team. A good starting point for a midfielder who has been getting proverbial pelters from all corners of Easter Road.

Hibs boss Nick Montgomery, genuinely pleased to see the Welshman get on the score sheet, said: “Dylan is a really talented boy. He had a good run in the team. I know I keep repeating myself, but we went through a period in the last six weeks where were really limited on players. Players were really tired and played a lot of games – Jair Tavares is another one to mention, he went from not playing any games to starting every game.

“Dylan and Joe Newell were putting in a big shift in midfield. He’s been a bit tired. We have asked him to adapt his game and be more aggressive in midfield. On Wednesday, his effort was huge, and I was really pleased for him to get the goal.

“He’s probably lacked a little bit of confidence lately, but everyone knows his ability on the ball is very, very good. He’s adapting his game, and that takes time as well. It’s the demands that need to put be on you as a midfielder.

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“His effort in the middle of the park with Joe and Nathan Moriah-Welsh was massive. Technically, he scores goals like that every day in training, but sometimes it is a confidence thing so I’m really happy for him.

“His technique is top class. The way he strikes and passes the ball is of the highest level. It’s nice for him to get that opportunity against Celtic, and that it fell to Dylan because you feel he’s going to hit the target.

“There’s maybe been a few this season where he hasn’t, but that can be a confidence thing again. Hopefully that sets him off now because he’s got the ability to do that.”

Levitt himself shrugged aside praise for his strike from just outside the box, focusing instead on the importance of the “real Hibs” showing up against Celtic. Following their weekend capitulation at home to St Mirren, that wasn’t necessarily guaranteed.

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“I think after the goal, it gave us massive confidence,” he said, adding: “We have had three or four chances to go ahead at 1-1 and that might change the dynamic of the game. Who knows? We could have won it.

“Everyone will look back on that performance and say that’s the level we need to be at every game. I think everyone can look each other in the eye and say we gave 100 per cent and that’s the minimum we need to do going forward.

“It was a good response. We did a review of the game on Saturday, and we had fair conversations about the performance. We needed a reaction and I think we got one from the performance we put on.

“Especially going forward on the counterattack with the wingers and the pace we have got and getting crosses in the box, we showed against Celtic we can score goals and create a lot of chances off it. If we take those chances at 1-1 it becomes a completely different game.”

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