LAST week Pat Stanton called on the Hibernian midfield to take some of the pressure off top scorer Leigh Griffiths and weigh in with a few more goals themselves. Against Aberdeen on Sunday Gary Deegan provided the best possible response to the former Hibs captain, scoring the only goal of the Scottish Cup tie from 35 yards.
Pleasantly surprised though he was by that matchwinning strike, Deegan has accepted that he cannot rest on his laurels and should henceforth do all he can to get on the scoresheet more often. “It showed other boys can score apart from Eoin [Doyle] and Leigh,” said Deegan, who has a free weekend as Hibs’ home game against St Johnstone has been rescheduled for Monday evening. “We should all be chipping in with goals.
“I’ll be shooting more often and I’ve set myself a scoring target. The other midfielders should be doing that too, because we need to start spreading the goals around. The manager has been encouraging me to shoot more and it came off on Sunday. I’ve watched my goal again, quite a few times actually.
“It was nice to get my first goal for Hibs, and the manner in which I scored it made it even better. It’s definitely the best goal I’ve ever scored. I’m putting it down as the best so far anyway.” Deegan celebrated in style after the goal, running to the bench and endangering Pat Fenlon’s glasses as he leapt about. The midfielder believes he owes a debt of gratitude to his manager, who was particularly helpful to him earlier in the season when he was hospitalised with a broken jaw sustained in a city-centre incident. “I owe the manager a lot,” added Deegan. “He gave me my start in professional football back home [in Ireland] and he brought me here after a difficult period down south.
“He was great during my broken jaw, coming up to the hospital and coming to the house to visit me. It’s great to know your manager’s behind you at a time like that.”