Shaun Maloney speaks on the positives Hibs can take into Hearts clash from Dundee United draw

Shaun Maloney saw enough in Hibs’ performance against Dundee United to give him some comfort heading into next weekend’s must-win meeting with Hearts at Tynecastle.

Sunday, 3rd April 2022, 12:00 pm

A debut goal for Harry Clarke cancelled out Ross Graham’s opener and although the Easter Road side pushed for a winner, they had to settle for a point.

But Maloney felt there were enough positives in the encounter to build on ahead of a crucial trip across the city.

“We have to think that, if we win, we guarantee top six – after that anything can happen,” he said.

Shaun Maloney saw enough positives in his side's draw with Dundee United ahead of the trip to Tynecastle

“We’ll look forward to next week. What gives me comfort is the way we played, considering we went 1-0 down after ten minutes.

“We could have gone the other way and panicked, but actually we played very well. We gave [United] zero opportunities up until the last five minutes when it became a bit chaotic.

“But saying that, still in that final third we have to be more creative and dangerous. The actual real, clear-cut chances we create, we have to make a difference in that area.”

Hearts are 16 points ahead of Hibs in the table but Maloney insists his side can go to Tynecastle full of confidence ahead of the Scottish Cup semi-final between the two teams at Hampden the following weekend.

“When we perform like we did in the second half, I think we can cause any team trouble – but there are certain areas we have to improve on,” he continued.

“In the final third, we have to be more decisive. With how well we can play up until the final third, we have to work on things in the long term that are going to make us a much more dangerous team.“I know a lot was made about an amazing draw and everyone's really excited but from a manager's point of view, we focus on the next opponent.

"We've got a really big game at Tynecastle. I hope we can perform like we did in parts against United but we need to improve in certain areas if we're going to go there and win.”

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