Mickey Weir: I don't understand why Lee Johnson is using Ryan Porteous in midfield

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Sunday’s victory over Motherwell at Fir Park further underlined the quality of Ryan Porteous as speculation continues to surround his immediate future at Easter Road.

He was excellent in defence and, as he often does, contributed further forward with some quick thinking which led to the second goal.

The very same day it was reported by the BBC that Hibs have reopened talks with Udinese over a deal which will see him leave in the January window, while there are said to be other clubs abroad and in England chasing his signature.

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He'll be a big miss when he goes, there's no doubt about that because we need our best players on the pitch. Hibs in the past have often lost good players. That's just football, but they've typically managed to replace those players with others of quality. That's what they need to do now with Ryan, either this month if he goes or in the summer. The gap needs to be filled.

Ryan Porteous roars in delight after the full-time whistle on Sunday as Hibs were able to defeat Motherwell 4-2 in the cinch Premiership. Picture: SNSRyan Porteous roars in delight after the full-time whistle on Sunday as Hibs were able to defeat Motherwell 4-2 in the cinch Premiership. Picture: SNS
Ryan Porteous roars in delight after the full-time whistle on Sunday as Hibs were able to defeat Motherwell 4-2 in the cinch Premiership. Picture: SNS

Ryan has told the club he's wanting to move on. Anyone who knows football knows you need your best players on the pitch, especially with the situation we're in, so it’s going to be difficult if he goes this month.

All that being said, I don’t understand why he’s been played in midfield so often recently by manager Lee Johnson.

I was talking about this with some friends recently. The one thing you don't do as a manager is take away one of your strengths. You play to your strengths. Now, Ryan Porteous is the best defender at the club. One of our strengths is having him at the back. You should keep your strengths where they are and work on your weaknesses. You put him into midfield and, to me, you're weakening the side.

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The one I really didn't understand was against Celtic. You've got a centre-back at defensive midfield going against some of the best players in the country, and it means you don’t have him in the defensive line trying to cover their forwards.

You take him out of the centre-back position and you weaken the side. Ryan will play where he's asked to play but we're at our best with him at the back, and I think you saw that against Motherwell.

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