“Never in a million years a 3-0 game": John Collins on manager's position, how Hibs 'dominated' and why Hearts won
Former Hibs manager and midfielder John Collins is urging the board to keep faith with Lee Johnson, and insists the scoreline 3-0 was not a fair reflection of the game.
Indeed, Collins believes Hibs “dominated” for spells and was encouraged by the performance, shape and workrate. He believes the difference between the teams in the Scottish Cup tie at Easter Road was in both boxes.
“You can't run a club by what supporters say,” he said on BBC Sportsound. “If your team is playing well and losing games, you don't just sack the manager. It's too easy to pull the trigger. Managers need time and a lot of the summer signings weren't good enough. But there is shape, there is discipline. Are the players working their socks off? Yes. Are they getting into good positions? Yes. Are they delivering goals in key moments in the big games? No.
“Lee Johnson will analyse that game and say ‘as a manager what more can I do with that group of players’ and there’s not a lot more a manager can do. Overall, his team's worked hard from start to finish, they've worked their way up to the opposition's box on numerous occasions, got into good positions but they haven't finished things off.”
He added: “It was far from a fair reflection on the game. It’s never in a million years a 3-0 game. 3-0 sounds like a pummelling. Hibs were the better team, dominated. But in key areas, in and out of the box, final crosses, final shots, Hibs were not good enough.
“[Elie] Youan had the beating of [Alex] Cochrane the whole game, getting into good positions, but his final cross or shot never worked the goalkeeper. He never put the ball on Nisbet’s head or to his feet. These are the details that Hibs have got to work on to become a better team. But effort, commitment, pressing, workrate was all there and there were some good phases of play. So a disaster of a result but not a disaster of a performance. Far from it.”
Former Hearts winger Neil McCann agreed with Collins’ assessment of the game. He added: “It's a tough one for Lee Johnson. The only thing that was missing was hitting the back of the net. I thought they were really good. Sometimes you sit there and think ‘we're missing a vital component right now’. Nisbet didn't have many, if any, chances all game. Youan looked the busiest and more likely. McGeady was good but faded. You win football games in the two boxes. Hearts were better in the two boxes. The three goals were brilliant.”
Tom English pm BBC Sportsound described the result as a “sickener for Hibs because they played well”. He added: “Hearts are coming off and saying 'we can do a lot better than that', Hibs are saying 'actually that was a good performance'. That's deeply concerning. Defensively, Hibs are just not good enough. It's the same in the middle of the park, where there's no buffer in front of that defence.”