Michael Weir: Derby showed Hibs are in a good place but over reliant on one player

Sunday’s match was a typically robust Edinburgh derby, but it wasn't the worst one I've seen.

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 4:45 pm
Martin Boyle reacts after his long range strike is saved by Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

I've watched and played in a few howlers but this one was a decent game between two teams going in the right direction. Hearts have improved dramatically to be fair. They've got a decent squad together.

In terms of the way they both played, it was a good spectacle. It was always going to whoever scored the first goal, the other team would be in trouble.

It was a game for the goalkeepers. The two of them were outstanding on the day.

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I've always liked Matt Macey from the first time I saw him. I'm a great believer that you don't stay at clubs like Arsenal if you're not a good goalkeeper.

You've got to have something about you and he's definitely got something. I don't think I've seen him make many mistakes. He looks very solid and has a good presence about him.

On Sunday he showed that his concentration levels are really good. He's not had a lot to do then he's pulled off a great save from Gary Mackay-Steven. He kept us in the game and Craig Gordon did likewise for Hearts. They were the two top men on the day.

In terms of the rest of the Hibs team, there weren't many other standouts on the day. The only real threat we had was Martin Boyle.

I can't think of anyone else who grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and really showed their capabilities. We had a couple of sparks out of Boyle and that was about it.

I think Hearts controlled the midfield and were dominant in the middle of the pitch and we were relying on Boyle. We've got to be careful over our reliance on him because it certainly showed at the weekend. He was our only hope of winning the game. If we'd got more balls through to him I think he could have caused them more problems.

In terms of the way Hibs set up, I can see why Jack Ross matched up with Hearts, but once we went to four in the middle of the park and moved Boyle out wide it completely changed the game and opened things up for us.

In the first half there was no cohesion about our forward play and we were just looking for long balls over the top for Boyle to run onto. But once we changed the shape in the second half it definitely got us back into the game and gave us a better chance of making opportunities.

I wouldn't say we had outstanding performers in the game, but in saying that, derby games tend to be like that. It's all about battling and fighting to win your individual battles, and we did that okay.

We really missed Christian Doidge. I think he would have caused them a different problem. When you've only got Kevin Nisbet, there's no real presence up there.

But going to Tynecastle is never easy, especially in front of that atmosphere. I think they'll be happy to get a result, and to avoid defeat at Tynecastle with a few players missing.

We're in a good place at the minute, but I think we can still improve.

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