Three takeaways from Livingston 2 - 0 Hibs
The Hibees end 2019 with a lacklustre display at the Tony Macaroni Arena. Here are three Hibs-related observations following a disappointing 90 minutes.
Back down to earth with a bang
After the jubilation of Boxing Day’s derby triumph at Tynecastle, Hibs were a shadow of the side that had fared so well in EH11 just three days prior. Granted, conditions at the Tony Macaroni Arena weren’t conducive to free-flowing football but Jack Ross’ men looked flat, disjointed and devoid of ideas of how to get in behind the Livingston rearguard. Ross elected to go with the same personnel for the second game in succession but there was little cohesion from the visitors throughout the entire 90 minutes. Nearly 3,500 Hibs supporters made the journey through to West Lothian expecting their side to build on the victory over Hearts but, in truth, it never looked likely from the off.
Long time to sit and stew
Victory over their Capital rivals had given Hibs a real incentive to pick up another three points prior to the winter break. Had they managed to achieve that, they would have opened up a six-point gap on their West Lothian opponents. Instead, the Lions leapfrogged the Easter Road side into fifth in the Premiership table – a sore way to end the year. Although the players can now look forward to some warm-weather training in Spain in just over a week’s time, it is nevertheless a long period to sit and stew on a defeat ahead of a return to competitive action against Championship leaders Dundee United in the Scottish Cup fourth-round on January 19.
Time for reflection
Although an enforced break is the last thing any player wants following a disappointing loss, it does, however, afford the Hibs squad some time to reflect on what has been a fairly chaotic first four months to the 2019/2020 campaign. The season began with Paul Heckingbottom in charge with the club languishing towards the lower echelons of the Premiership. However, 2019 draws to a close with Jack Ross now at the helm and Hibs occupying a top-six berth. The break will give everyone connected with the football club an opportunity to set some new goals, both personal and as a team, for what they hope will be a fruitful second half to the season.