The 23-year-old has proved unexpectedly productive in front of goal this season in now finding his feet down Leith way following a tricky time after his £315,000 move from St Mirren last October. The current campaign may only be two months old, but with four net-bulging moments it has already provided the best scoring returns for any of Magennis’s five senior seasons. Only Martin Boyle, with nine goals, has claimed more for Jack Ross’s men.
Four also just happens to be the number of outings in which Hibs have failed to fashion a single goal against their bogey team from Perth – Callum Davidson’s men their Scottish Cup final conquers, as well as overwhelming them in the semi-final of the League Cup across an exasperating four-game losing run they have endured in the fixture. Magennis has yet to start against St Johnstone in his current posting. If he does, in the No 10 role he occupied once again for the 3-1 Premier Sports Cup quarter-final success over Dundee United the other night, the attacker won’t shy away from putting the onus on himself to help end his club’s barren run against a problematic rival.
“I had been playing a bit deeper in a couple of games recently, because Joe Newell was out injured, and it’s harder to get goals from there, although it’s still possible,” said the player, who hasn’t netted in his past five appearances. “But playing further forward I’m more likely to get more goals. So, yes, I go into every game confident and looking to score goals. I hope they can start falling for me again. It was a brilliant start [for goals with four in the first seven games] – but a bit unexpected, to be honest, because I’m not really known for scoring goals. It was a bit of a surprise but I took confidence from it and I hope I can keep going with that.”
The re-emergence of Scott Allan puts added pressure on all the final third players at Hibs over their slots in the team. Allan, who has overcome profound health challenges, scored his first goal in a year-and-a-half in the United cup success that has set-up a semi-final with Rangers in seven weeks. It follows on from four assists this season from the 29-year-old to leave him pushing for regular starts. “Scotty is absolutely brilliant, you know his quality is there,” Magennis said. “It’s great [to have him in the team] and great to be able to bring him on, and for him to play so well and get his assists.”
In Hibs banking a third straight domestic cup semi-final on Thursday, Magennis feels good about the entire Ross project, believing it can deliver as he hoped it would when travelling east almost exactly 12 months ago. “Winning cups and stuff is massive for a club like Hibs,” he said. “We want to do this year is get to a final again [after the Scottish Cup final loss], and win. The disappointment from last season, you don’t want to feel that again. So that motivates you.”