Michael Weir: Scott Allan was fish out of water and you can’t blame Hibs fans for anxiety
Scott Allan is the one player who gives us that creative edge - but not wide on the right where it was obvious he was a fish out of water against St Johnstone. Allan’s place is in the middle of the park in that No.10 position and that’s clearly where Saints expected him to play initially, lining up with a defensive midfielder obviously deployed to try to negate his influence on the game.
Managers have to make decisions, sometimes they work, on other occasions they go against you but to have Allan play where he did struck me as a very strange choice. As a result he had little impact on the game.
It’s obvious he’s not an out-and-out winger like Daryl Horgan and tracking back isn’t his forte so David Gray more exposed than he should have been. As a result Matt Kennedy had a good game against him while Scott Tanser at left-back was able to get forward rather than being taken the other way.
We only got one glimpse of what Allan is capable of when he drifted into the centre of the park and played a terrific pass through for Christian Doidge who should have done better than he did. Go two up at that point and we’d probably have gone on to win the match but, instead, Allan found himself being taken off and you heard the crowd’s reaction to that move.
But I didn’t feel we were in control of the game at any point, I just didn’t think we were safe.
Don’t forget, St Johnstone have had a miserable start to the season and were there for the taking but we were too passive. We let them get into the game. After we opened the scoring we sat back rather than taking it to them and seeing if they could cope. St Johnstone were ordinary but we weren’t anywhere near where we should be.
A goal up at Easter Road we should be going for the jugular and testing their nerve, getting the crowd right into the match.
We should be making teams who come to Easter Road feel really uncomfortable, you don’t want it any other way. Instead, we stood off them, allowed them back in, to dictate and make it difficult for us.
We got ahead again but once more we let them get on the front foot and they deserved to take something out of the game. You can’t blame the fans for getting anxious and making their feelings known. They could sense trouble coming, they’ve seen it happen before.
Yes, you can ask them to give the players encouragement, but it works both ways, give them something to shout about.
But we went into two banks of four, allowed them to get forward and ultimately paid the price.
And make no mistake, if we are going to struggle against St Johnstone, we are going to struggle against other teams.