Martin Boyle exit is not root of Hibs problems and Rangers is where it could all finally go right – Tam McManus


Another home game and another big duck egg at Easter Road for Hibs.

My message to the likes of Kevin Nisbet, Christian Doidge and Chris Mueller is that I’ve been that soldier – out in the battlefield but firing nothing but blanks.

Struggling in the defeat to St Mirren, my mind drifted back to Dunfermline and the worst striking crisis of my career.

A drought of nine games without a goal and Pars boss Stephen Kenny kept me behind for shooting practice.

Current Hearts goalie coach Paul Gallagher was also held behind and stood between the posts in weather which included a gale force wind which was blowing straight into my face.

Without a word of a lie, the likes were so strong I was struggling to reach the goal with my shots, never mind hitting the back of the net. With each attempt, the confidence drained out of me.

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Talking to myself, muttering away with each and every miss. For some reason I couldn’t hit a cow’s a**** with a banjo during that spell as a player.

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I managed to trundle a few efforts on target eventually and Paul threw himself over the ball just to try and bring things to a close and get up the road and out of the storm.

The following day I scored the winner and it was the worst goal I ever scored. I hit the ball three times to get it over the line from three-yards out and nearly missed. Then came the relief, I was back on track and that’s where Hibs are at the moment.

Who cares who scores or if it goes in off of someone’s backside, just as long as some goals start to flow.

Maloney has admitted the first half wasn’t good enough, just when the fans were back onside and believing again in both the team and the manager, the performance became frustratingly passive.

St Mirren’s Connor Ronan celebrates making it 1-0

For some reason they just didn’t come out of the traps. They were poor and it was night and day from the intensity they showed at the start in the derby against Hearts.

After half-time, for 20 minutes, it was the best Hibs had played under Maloney. They were excellent right up to the point when Connor Ronan scored for St Mirren.

Maloney brought on Ewan Henderson, he was excellent and there was a change of system which worked.

Had it not been for the brilliance of Buddies keeper Jak Alnwick then Hibs would have been two or three goals ahead.

It was also a result which told a familiar story of a team which just isn’t clinical enough in the final third.

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Time and again they are missing chances they should be scoring and it’s coming back to haunt them.

It’s going to be a continual struggle for them until they find a way to start putting the ball into the back of the net.

All it takes is one mistake at the back and they are punished as was the case on Saturday when Jake Doyle-Hayes was dispossessed and bang, Ronan scored and it’s another defeat.

If Hibs continue to struggle to score then the opposition only need to take one chance to win the game and that’s a big problem for Maloney to solve.

Shaun Maloney

Some people will look at the loss of Martin Boyle as the problem but the issue for me is after good passages of play there is a severe lack of goals. If they can change that then they will start winning games.

On Saturday you could see St Mirren growing in confidence with every save by Alnwick and every chance which was missed.

One opportunity and Ronan nearly bursts the net.

Hibs are in a rut and it needs to change against Rangers at Ibrox tomorrow night. They will need to be clinical as they won’t get many opportunities and it’ll be interesting to see if Maloney sticks with his philosophy of playing out from the back.

Rangers will press the life out of them but this might be the game where there isn’t as much pressure on Hibs and they manage to take that one chance.

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Nobody expects them to get a result and then another massive game against Arbroath looms on Sunday.

Let’s hope this current ill wind starts to become more of a breeze.




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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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