Shaun Maloney 'couldn't have asked players for any more' after Hibs win at Dundee United

Shaun Maloney hailed his Hibs players for stepping things up from the midweek victory over Aberdeen to record a 3-1 win against Dundee United at Tannadice.

By Patrick McPartlin
Sunday, 26th December 2021, 6:14 pm
Shaun Maloney was a happy man after watching his side defeat Dundee United
Shaun Maloney was a happy man after watching his side defeat Dundee United

Goals from Kevin Nisbet, Chris Cadden, and Jamie Murphy ensured the points would be heading back to Edinburgh despite a late Declan Glass goal giving the hosts hope late on.

“I thought in the first half in particular we were excellent. There was a spell when Dundee United came into it and were more dominant than us but I am really pleased with the way we played,” he said afterwards.

“Some of the starters had had just two sessions, so to watch them play like they did first half – huge credit to them. It was a step up from Aberdeen because when we did dominate, we created and had shots.

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“That’s the name of the game, there’s no point keeping the ball for however long when there are no chances at the end of it.

“It was excellent and I couldn’t have asked the players for any more.”

Maloney hasn’t had a great deal of time with his players since arriving just under a week ago to take the reins at Easter Road but he has led the team to consecutive wins against two teams – Aberdeen and United – who both recorded wins against the Capital club in October. The new man is keen the right people get the recognition, however.

“I’d love to take the credit for this, but it’s the staff and players. They have been amazing, the staff have worked extremely hard since we came in.

“They have had two sessions, taken on board what we want to do, and you saw against United that their talent came to the fore.

“I ask them to play under pressure at times but it’s their talent that does it. So they can be very happy.”

The 38-year-old has enjoyed his first week in charge but knows the team has to build on a successful start when play resumes after the rearranged winter break.

“It has been a very enjoyable first week, a lot of hard work. I hope the staff and the players have enjoyed it as much as we have,” Maloney continued.

“Now we have to kick on; there are clubs ahead of us playing well but we want to have a successful half to the season.”

There was a hint of offside about Hibs’ first goal but Maloney was unsure.

“I wasn’t sure what the issue was and I haven’t seen it back. If it is offside, those decisions are difficult when they’re against you.

“If it’s indecisive then that shows why the referees need help.”

Dundee United manager Tam Courts added: “I've not had a chance to watch it back but from speaking to a few people who have, they have said it's on the dubious side. I think for me that's bitterly disappointing."I don't think we were at our best in the first half and we I was going to make a few tweaks at half time to make us more aggressive so if we had come in at 0-0 at half time, I felt like we could have got some control in the game. But when you are 1-0 down, you can't do that."