Michael Weir: Doidge hitting form at just the right time for Hibs
Hibs’ performance against Queen of the South was the best I’ve seen in a wee while.
I thought they were very good – that break seems to have helped them a lot because there was a freshness about them all once they got going.
From the word “go” they were at it, and they looked really hungry and with the Scottish Cup draw going the way it has they have a really good chance of going far in the contest.
Sometimes having an extended bit of time off can do wonders if one or two of them have been carrying injuries or knocks, for example, but there was definitely a change in the performance; a real urgency in their play and Queens just couldn’t deal with it.
I think they got off lightly, actually, because it could have been a bigger scoreline but a result in the cup is what it’s all about. Performances are great but it’s getting over the line that’s the most important thing.
Monday night’s performance should give them a lot more confidence. They looked like a confident side at Palmerston, they knocked the ball about well, and it will hopefully be a real shot in the arm ahead of Sunday’s trip to Ibrox to play Rangers. Positive results can only help you and I thought the whole team looked bang at it.
I definitely think that there are one or two players who look sharper having had the break. Joe Newell was out for a bit and it was maybe a big ask to expect him to be turning it on as soon as he returned but after one or two games he looks back to his usual influential self.
Christian Doidge couldn’t have picked a better time to get back on the goal trail. He seems to have got his confidence back at the best time. I’m chuffed for the big man, because he’s never stopped working, always gives 100 per cent even if he isn’t scoring, and you can’t ask for more than that.
At the end of the day the run-in is the most important part of the season – yes, Hibs perhaps haven’t scored as many goals as they would have liked in the past couple of months but this is the key time now.
Hopefully Kevin Nisbet and Doidge can link up like they did in the first part of the season because when Doidge is on form, Hibs are a different team.
Looking at how they played together on Monday you can see that the partnership is back, it’s flourishing, and what a time for them to find their true form again.
It will be like signing two new players if they can keep this up until the end of the season and if they’re both firing on all cylinders there aren’t going to be many defences who fancy dealing with them up front.
Hibs should be buoyant after their cup win going into Sunday’s game. Winning football matches breeds confidence.
The calibre of player they face at Ibrox will be different but the players have to believe in themselves and just go for it.
In recent games Hibs haven’t done too badly against Rangers. They nearly always put in a performance and they shouldn’t be overawed by them.