Shaun Maloney proud of Hibs players as he reveals thinking behind Scott Allan decision

Shaun Maloney hailed his Hibs players after securing victory in his first match in charge at Easter Road.

By Patrick McPartlin
Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 10:41 pm
Shaun Maloney issues instructions from the touchline during his first match in charge of Hibs
Shaun Maloney issues instructions from the touchline during his first match in charge of Hibs

A Ryan Porteous goal in the 64th minute was enough to separate the two teams and move the Capital club up to fifth in the Scottish Premiership table.

"I’m very proud of the players because of the way they played after two sessions, showing bravery,” Maloney said afterwards.

"In the second half, the way they defended in the last 15 minutes was incredible, considering what had happened in the Premier Sports Cup final.

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‘”They were incredible, really, when you consider that they put in at Hampden.

“That was part of the reason why the game went the way it did in the second half. We couldn’t get as much pressure on the ball up the park.

“There was always going to be mistakes after two sessions but the fact they kept trying, that’s huge credit to them. The staff have worked really hard, but the players have been really, really open-minded.”

Asked if there was any additional pressure on him to get a result, Maloney said: “Not really, I just felt like it was part of the process. You prepare for the game, you’re constantly working.

“I’m really happy, the chairman is delighted. Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel that the pressure is off!”

Maloney opted to bring Scott Allan in for his first start in the league since September as one of three changes to the starting team from Sunday with Joe Newell sidelined with a dead leg, and Chris Cadden replacing Jamie Murphy.

The playmaker played the first 60 minutes of the game and the new Hibs boss explained his thinking behind handing the 30-year-old a rare start.

“From watching the cup final, I wanted to try and inject a bit more energy further forward, so I was looking for someone who maybe hadn’t played a lot.

“The way we want to play, Scott took it on board really well in training, so he was a good option.

“There were players who didn’t make the squad who also deserved to play – but it suited us in this game.”

Meanwhile, Dons boss Stephen Glass bemoaned his side lack of energy.

“We should have been fresh off the back of three wins,” he said afterwards.

“I made the change at half-time because we were comfortable in the respect of not looking like we’d lose a goal – but we didn’t look threatening.

“The start of the second half showed that. But it didn’t really continue like that.

“The game was really scrappy, without a huge amount of chances.

“I don’t think Hibs really deserved to win but they got the goal from the set-piece. Neither team did enough in open play.”

Glass also felt his side were unfairly penalised when Hibs weren’t.

“There are two corners in succession but there’s a foul on Declan. We’re getting called for blocking at the other end but it’s okay to block Declan at our end,” he added.

“But that’s not why we lost the goal. We lost one of the main threats at the set piece, that’s why we lost it.”