Michael Weir: To be be brutally honest, Hibs need to show more hunger and desire to win

Our columnist reckons the Hibs players have to want victory

Monday, 20th January 2020, 4:45 pm
Melker Hallberg and Steven Whittaker lave the field after Dundee United secured a replay by levelling twice

I’m afraid the outcome of our Scottish Cup tie against Dundee United was symptomatic of much of our season, another game in which we dominated but failed to put the opposition away.

As such no-one, I’d imagine, would have been surprised at the result at Tannadice although we did avoid being on the wrong end of an upset which many were predicting given United’s recent form in the Championship.

We got off to the best possible start early in each half with those goals from Christian Doidge and Martin Boyle but it was disappointing that we didn’t go on and get a third or even a fourth goal when we were in control.

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We had our chances to do exactly that but, instead, we allowed United to get back into the match each time, something that has happened repeatedly throughout the season.

Apart from the 3-0 win at home to Aberdeen, I’d struggle to recall another game where we have put it together for the entire 90 minutes. We’ve been patchy, had good spells for 20 minutes or half-an-hour but then, as on Sunday, we seem to go into a bit of a lull.

It’s a problem that’s difficult to deal with.

No matter how hard you train the players or spend on video analysis and on tactics, it’s something that has to come from within as far as the players are concerned.

You cannot pick and choose when you play. If you want to be up there in the top four, chasing a place in Europe you can’t simply go through the motions. If I’m brutally honest, we need to show more hunger and desire to win matches. That’s the difference between good and ordinary sides.

The cup tie was, of course, our first match back after the winter break and against a side which had been playing - and winning - in the meantime.

I’ve never been a fan of the break, I had it once as a player at Motherwell and I felt terrible after it, I just couldn’t get going after three weeks out. It doesn’t work for a lot of teams.

I know Hibs have been away in Spain training and enjoyed a win against Willem II. But that was not more than a bounce match and, to me, Hibs looked a bit flat and lacked a bit of sharpness.

However, we’ll have had another couple of games under our belts before the replay next Tuesday and although United will probably feel quite confident within themselves with the pressure all on us, I still think we’ve enough quality to go through although it will be another difficult game.

The carrot is there for both clubs with non-league BSC Glasgow waiting in the fifth round and no disrespect to them, it’s a good chance to make the quarter-finals. You always want to be at home in the cup but Alloa’s Indodrill Stadium, where the game will be played, is fairly familiar territory for both.