Talking points as Hibs are eased aside by Bournemouth in second Spain friendly

Hibs were beaten 4-0 by Bournemouth on Thursday evening in the second of two summer friendlies in Spain.
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Andoni Iraola’s side scored twice in the first of three periods through David Brooks and Jaidon Anthony while Phillip Billing added a third and fourth in the final period. Jake Doyle-Hayes rattled the crossbar for Hibs and Dan MacKay had a goal ruled out for offside that looked like it was perfectly legal.

Collectively Hibs looked more settled and organised as the game went on but their opponents’ class showed at crucial moments. Here are four talking points from the encounter…

The remaining pieces of the jigsaw

Hibs lost 4-0 to Bournemouth in the second of two friendlies in Spain. Picture: Craig Foy / SNS GroupHibs lost 4-0 to Bournemouth in the second of two friendlies in Spain. Picture: Craig Foy / SNS Group
Hibs lost 4-0 to Bournemouth in the second of two friendlies in Spain. Picture: Craig Foy / SNS Group
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Hibs have a forward line with a collective abundance of flair, experience, graft, pace, and an eye for goal. But there’s a nagging feeling that they need something else as an option – ideally, a starting number nine. It could still be Christian Doidge; despite Lee Johnson confirming ‘four or five clubs’ are sniffing around the attacker, he might want to fight for his place at Easter Road. Hibs are still in the hunt for an addition to their attacking ranks, but there could yet be a role for the Welshman this season.

Kenneh for the defence?

What was also interesting was midfielder Nohan Kenneh operating as a centre-back for part of the game, as he often did during his apprenticeship at Leeds. Hibs are closing in on a return for Will Fish, but they could still do with another centre-back given Johnson’s preference for having four first-team central defenders in his squad. With Kenneh possibly not fancied in midfield, and Jimmy Jeggo and Dylan Levitt both utilised there ahead of the Liberian internationalist, perhaps there is a future for him at Easter Road as a centre-back. He wouldn’t be the left-sided long-term successor to Paul Hanlon but if the coaching staff can continue moulding him into a decent stopper, it could free up transfer funds and wages elsewhere.

The real MacKay

Dan MacKay was sent on loan to Inverness Caledonian Thistle last summer but the winger has been in eye-catching form for Hibs in pre-season and on his showings so far, more than deserves a chance this term. Joe Newell was singing his praises during his stint as co-commentator during the Bournemouth game and the 22-year-old had a well-taken goal harshly ruled out for offside when he looked to be onside from Allan Delferrière’s lofted through ball. Summarising, Newell pointed out that MacKay has a knack of getting into the right places at the right time and having already scored against Edinburgh City, might have had another were it not for the over-zealous linesman. You would imagine he has given himself a good chance of featuring under Johnson this term.

The young ones

Kanayo Megwa started at right-back in Lewis Miller’s absence and acquitted himself well but the performances of Reuben McAllister and Rudi Molotnikov in the midfield were notable. McAllister is still quite slightly physically but uses the ball really well and Molotnikov set up Doyle-Hayes for his effort. Both are still just 17 but given their pre-season showings, you can imagine Johnson having no qualms about involving them more this season. Jacob MacIntyre also performed well in an unfamiliar left-back position, with the absence of Jordan Obita limiting options in the position.

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