Shaun Maloney hails Runar Hauge and Elias Melkersen but Hibs boss wants more from his young team

Shaun Maloney was full of praise for the performance of his young guns against Dundee as the Hibs manager highlighted debuts for Norwegian pair Runar Hauge and Elias Melkersen – but admitted he wants more from his young team.

Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 11:00 am

Both players have been struggling with injury recently but with ten players unavailable for the midweek game through a combination of injury and illness, 19-year-old Melkersen and Hauge, 20, made appearances off the bench at Dens Park.

With Kevin Nisbet sidelined for a considerable amount of time with knee ligament damage, more will be required from Christian Doidge, who replaced Nisbet against Celtic and started against the Dark Blues, and Melkersen in the final third.

"Elias has been progressing and has been on the bench recently, in the last couple of games before he was ill, and I feel that he is more than ready to start producing substitute appearances for us,” Maloney said after the stalemate.

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Elias Melkersen, left, and Runar Hauge applaud the Hibs fans after the draw with Dundee

“It was maybe a big ask for Runar because he’s not been well either, but to throw him in like that was more a necessity.

"The average age of the team that finished the game was very, very young. I’m asking a lot from a very young team and I’m going to ask a lot more of them on Saturday.”

Maloney does not expect any of his injured or ill players to recover in time for Saturday’s visit of St Johnstone, the former Bodø/Glimt players could well be involved again at the weekend as Hibs look to continue their unbeaten run but also return to winning ways after two goalless draws.

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