Michael Weir: Hibs had a chance to kill off Hearts – but we don’t take enough risks

When we went 1-0 up against Hearts through that fantastic strike from Stevie Mallan I was confident we could go on, get a second goal and kill Hearts off.

Tuesday, 24th September 2019, 6:00 am
Melker Hallberg challenges Glenn Whelan. Hallberg had a great chance to make it 2-0 but fluffed his chance

Melker Hallberg had the chance to do exactly that when Flo Kamberi’s blocked shot fell at his feet but, sadly, he lacked the composure needed at that moment, slashing the ball wide of target.

Score then and it would, I am sure, have been a totally different outcome, Hearts looked to be on the ropes but, instead, we didn’t look as if we knew what to do.

Like ourselves, Hearts’ confidence would have been very low ahead of kick-off and, having taken the lead, we should have seized the opportunity to test their mental strength. But we allowed them to get back into the game and once they scored they deserved at least a draw.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

But for them to go on and get the winner was a killer for us. However, having said that, fortune favours the brave in these games and although his hand may have been forced a bit, Craig Levein made changes, switched formations, and got his reward, a result which will have come as a massive relief for him and one which heaps even more pressure on Paul Heckingbottom.

To be honest, I don’t think we take enough risks in games. Hearts were there for the taking and I felt we should have made moves to keep them under pressure but we were like rabbits in the headlights, not knowing how to handle the occasion.

We should have gone for it rather than trying just to see the game out. You simply don’t win football matches by playing safe. Hearts grabbed the initiative, forced corner after corner and, inevitably, got themselves level before enjoying a slice of luck when Aaron Hickey’s shot took a deflection off Josh Vela.

We went with two sitting midfielders in Vela and Hallberg protecting the back four, a set-up I couldn’t understand, and despite having the two of them in there Glenn Whelan was given all the time he needed on the ball.

Whelan was allowed to stroll through the game as we sat off him and when you give a player of his experience there’s only going to be one outcome - he dominated the second half for them.

Rather than being pro-active we appear to be reactive, Christophe Berra’s lack of pace is chronic but Kamberi didn’t give him too many problems so why not throw on Christian Doidge, a £350,000 signing after all, something different to give him something to think about rather than leaving it to the last few minutes in the hope he might salvage a point.

It was the same with Glenn Middleton, his introduction coming only after Hearts had equalised rather than before when his pace might have helped us create the chances to get 2-0 up.