THE Hibernian squad have so far only witnessed the more benign side of Terry Butcher’s character. Knowing morale is low, the new manager has done everything he can to lighten the mood and let his players know he believes in them.
But Owain Tudur Jones, having worked for Butcher at Inverness before moving to Easter Road, is sure his boss will become more demanding sooner or later. To date, Butcher has emphasised the need for hard work. Soon he will insist on quality, too, according to the Welsh midfielder.
“The boys haven’t faced the manager angry yet,” Tudur Jones said after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Partick Thistle preserved Butcher’s unbeaten start in his new job. “He’s still in his settling-in period. I’ve had a little look around the dressing room and there are not too many things that can be thrown around. There are no water coolers like in Inverness. I got rid of all the stuff he could throw – it’s in my house! But it is inevitable that he will have a go if performance levels drop. He’s that kind of manager. Knowing the gaffer as I do, he will have a go when standards drop and he feels you are not putting your all in. Just now, he can see that everyone is working hard. There will come a point when he wants that extra quality as well.
“There is certainly no time limit on when he might have a go. As it stands, he seems to be pleased with workrate and I think he has been pleasantly surprised by the players he has inherited here. It’s up to us to show what we can do on the training ground and then transfer that into matches.”
One specific problem Butcher will have to address – probably more psychologically than on the training ground – is Hibs’ poor home form. They have still won only once at Easter Road in the league this season, twice in the whole of 2013.
“We need to address our home form, and I think the manager will enjoy the challenge of how to do it,” Tudur Jones continued. “One home league win is not what we expect and it’s certainly something we hope to rectify.”
Thistle’s Ross Forbes was unhappy with Hibs’ late equaliser, but was generally pleased with the way his team had performed. “With the way we’ve been playing and the results recently, we’d maybe have taken a point,” he said.
“But, when you’re 1-0 up in injury time, it’s hard to take. Every one of the boys was brilliant, so we were probably unlucky not to get three points.”