Mickey Weir: Why Shaun Maloney deserves both patience and backing

Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Dundee United was the latest in a series of disappointing results from Hibs so far this year.

By Mickey Weir
Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 7:30 am

Defensively we looked solid again and it certainly helped to have Paul Hanlon back in the side marshalling the defence. You also have to say Dundee United did what was expected of them and what they’ve been doing for the last couple of seasons. They got their early goal, they were rigid and they made themselves tough to break down. But it’s clear to see we’re still searching for the right combinations in attack.

We need a bit more up front, especially some experience in the side. It's a lot to ask young players every week to take up the mantle at 19 years old of scoring goals to win games.

There’s a lot of frustration around the manager at the moment but we need to be patient as a support. There’s no point in appointing the manager and then panicking when things aren’t immediately going to plan. The squad needed a real change of direction.

Hibs manager Shaun Maloney has saw his side win just once in their last 12 league games. Picture: SNS

It's been difficult for Shaun Maloney because he's had to come into the club with a bunch of players he didn't sign and he's had to bring in his own players midway through a season. It's not ideal for him. I never thought he would come in and hit the ground running because there was a lot of work to be done. We lacked of bit of depth in experience and that's just been exacerbated recently by some of the injury problems we've had. Hopefully we’ll get a couple of those guys back before the next two games.

As a club we need to be getting more experience into that first-team. You can't keep bringing in only potential. You need to have pedigree in the side. I think another three or four experienced players in the side would help us no end. In January we pretty much only went for young players. The oldest were Chris Mueller and Demetri Mitchell at 25. Mueller is coming from a different continent into the demands of the Scottish Premiership, while Mitchell’s yet to play 100 career games.

Mueller’s been getting a bit of a hard time but there's still a lot to come from him and I think it's the same for a lot of them. They're still very raw and their final selection of pass just isn't there yet.

It's all the hallmarks of a young side. They make the wrong choices but that comes with being a young player. You have to take it on the chin and let them develop. But my fear with us is that we've not got the time to let them develop. We've got to get results. At Hibs you need to win football matches and it's difficult to bring through so many young players and do that at the same time.

There's a lot of football ahead of them, but there's going to be set backs. The club’s model is about short-term pain for long-term gain. It’s a very difficult balancing act for Maloney. He needs a bit more help with players who’ve been there and done it.

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