Michael Weir: St Johnstone trip is acid test for Paul Heckingbottom’s Hibs

Paul Heckingbottom has lead Hibs to victory in his opening two games
Paul Heckingbottom has lead Hibs to victory in his opening two games
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Tomorrow night’s game against St Johnstone will tell us how far we have come in a short time under Paul Heckingbottom.

The win over Dundee made it – when you take the Scottish Cup tie against Raith Rovers before he arrived into account – three victories on the trot, something we haven’t managed to do since winning four league games in a row over September and October.

I know people will say Raith, Hamilton and Dundee aren’t the strongest of opposition but, given how Hibs had been struggling, such fixtures can prove a bit of a problem. It wasn’t the toughest of runs, three winnable games, but the most important thing is we did win them and have started to build a bit of momentum which at this time of the season is something you need.

St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park is always a tough proposition and Saints have proved to be a bit of a thorn in our flesh with a habit of coming up with last-minute goals against us. We’ve managed to edge ahead of them in sixth place thanks to our superior goal difference but a win in Perth would be a terrific result, one which would boost our hopes of finishing in the top half and turning an ordinary season into a half-decent one.

Friday night brought a bit of controversy with Marc McNulty now sweating on a call from the compliance officer after his tangle with Ryan McGowan. In my day that sort of thing would be brushed aside and forgotten about instantly but now, with cameras everywhere, people seem to be looking for something to grouch about.

McNulty has impressed me since arriving, not just with his goals but the way he leads the line, a player with clever movement who can take the team up the pitch by holding the ball and moving central defenders about.

He’s got good experience which is helping Flo Kamberi who many forget is still a young player. Hopefully, McNulty won’t be cited and banned because we’ll miss him badly if he is.