Shaun Maloney reveals Hibs advice from Sir Alex Ferguson and former England boss

Shaun Maloney has revealed that some of the football world’s big hitters have been in touch to give him advice and encouragement about his Hibs team.

Shaun Maloney delivers instructions to his Hibs team on the training ground
Shaun Maloney delivers instructions to his Hibs team on the training ground

In a wide-ranging piece with The Athletic (£) for which the Easter Road boss granted an ‘access all areas’ pass Maloney discussed his focus areas with the team and stressed that while his philosophy will take time to come to fruition, he has been heartened by what he has seen in the last few weeks.

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been in touch with advice and some ‘encouraging words’ about Hibs while ex-England boss Roy Hodgson, now at Watford, has done likewise.

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While the Capital club has improved defensively, it has not been as easy a transition in the final third with injury to Kevin Nisbet and illness preventing Maloney from having a consistent attack in the last few weeks.

Norway Under-20 forward Elias Melkersen has been a bright spot, scoring a double on his first start in the 2-1 Scottish Cup victory over Motherwell, but it is a big ask for him to lead the line at such a young age.

"We’re working on the way we attack to the box,” Maloney explains. “Some of it has been understanding the players’ attributes in certain positions. We’re getting players into better positions and we’re constantly trying to improve on the actions when we get there.

"We just need to start taking our chances to really make a difference.”

Maloney spends nearly 24 hours every week studying videos of matches and opposition teams. Finer details of wins, draws, and defeats are highlighted, scrutinised, and discussed with the team. Moments where players could ‘gamble’ – ‘I don’t want them to be robots’, stresses Maloney – and potentially swing a game are pointed out.

Recruitment work ahead of the summer transfer window is already under way but in the meantime the former Belgium No.2 wants to focus on players’ strengths to get the most out of the team at the business end of the season.

"If they have clarity when they go out and play then they can show their talent and give me what I want, and also improve as players’, he adds.

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