Michael Weir: Nothing wrong with Hibs winning ugly - but there's one thing we have to improve on
Lack of clean sheets needs to be addressed by new coaching team
It may have been a bit of a battle against St Mirren, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong in “winning ugly”.
Everyone at Hibs deserves full credit for making it three wins in a row, a string of results which have pushed us right up the Premiership table and away from the danger zone currently occupied by four teams.
Everyone will have taken confidence from this sudden change in fortunes but, once again, it just goes to show how quickly things change in football and Hibs have done it by winning three tough games.
The victory against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park, a ground which has always proved to be a difficult venue for Hibs, has quickly been followed by further wins over Motherwell who have been doing really well this season and, now, St Mirren.
A trip to Paisley is always a tricky affair and although the Buddies are one of those sides locked on 11 points, it shouldn’t be overlooked that at home they’ve proved to be tough to beat, so much so that their only defeat at the Simple Digital Arena before our visit was by a single goal to Rangers.
At the start of the season at Easter Road Saints looked well organised and disciplined. We found it hard that day to break them down, so it should have come as no surprise to anyone that on their own patch they would again make like difficult for us.
We didn’t play particularly well but we showed great resilience when Saints had us under pressure in the second half. Stevie Mallan’s penalty to add to Christian Doidge’s first half goal gave us a little breathing space, enough to ensure Junior Morias’ late strike was nothing more than a consolation for Jim Goodwin’s players.
Earlier in the season it’s questionable whether we’d have managed to cope being on the back foot but we also showed in that wee spell when Motherwell were knocking at the door on Saturday that we can defend a bit as well.
While it’s great scoring goals, as we are currently doing, I don’t think you can ever under-estimate the need to defend well. To me the next step is to start keeping clean sheets, that’s what the goalkeeper and his defenders are looking for and they’ll be a bit hurt that, again, we conceded a goal late in the match.
Jack Ross went with the same team for the third match in succession and that’s clearly been the sensible thing to do. Getting results is the most important thing at the moment but between now and the January transfer window he’ll have plenty of time to assess his squad and decide what needs to be done.
We do seem to have a lot of forward thinking players and we need to find a balance. You can’t just rely on the back four to keep the opposition out and I’m sure that’s something he’ll be looking at in time.