Michael Weir: Hibs get that little bit extra from Stevie Mallan
Hibs' performance against Hamilton was as good an all-round team display as you are likely to see this season.
From the first minute to the last, they stamped their authority on the match and, for me, the impressive thing was the hunger they showed in the way they kept going right into added-on time.
The game had been won with those three goals in the first half and, although they added a fourth after the interval, those two late strikes gave a much fairer reflection on how the game had gone.
Everything clicked into place and, as we all know, there aren’t many games when everything goes right for you. It was really just a matter of getting the first goal and, after Martin Boyle did that, the players could relax and enjoy themselves.
Stevie Mallan certainly looks like a player who is doing exactly that. I watched him play for St Mirren and liked what I saw but there is always that wee question as to how someone handles a move to a club like Hibs. He’s a player Neil Lennon has recognised as one you just let go to play in that free role in the middle of the park. He can win you games. He has that in his locker – the ability to come up with something, a happy knack he’s displayed in abundance with all nine of his goals so far having come from outside the penalty area with some really spectacular strikes.
Stevie looks as if he’s quickly settled in and, as every player knows, getting a few goals quickly after you join a new club helps that process. The Hibs midfield all have a good bit of quality but he has that wee bit extra that can win you games.
The international break has probably come at the wrong time. When you are playing as Hibs are you don’t want that momentum and rhythm you have interrupted. You want to be playing every week.
The positive is that it should allow players like David Gray, Paul Hanlon and, hopefully, Jamie Maclaren to shake off their injuries because Hibs have a tough schedule coming up and need everyone available if possible.