Ewan Henderson responds after Hibs boss brands him player he is 'most frustrated with'
The waifish midfielder set one up and scored the best of the lot as Lee Johnson’s side swept away a St Mirren team who have been the surprise package in the cinch Premiership so far this term. Hibs have been capable of a few surprises of their own and not all of them good. Their inconsistency has led to a see-sawing campaign in the opening months of the season with Johnson looking at finding a sports psychologist to help foster a particular mindset and approach.
In Johnson’s eyes, Henderson may be Hibs in microcosm this term. As such the 22-year-old has felt the full weight of his manager’s pressure. “That’s probably the one I’ve been most frustrated with,” admitted the Easter Road manager. “He was probably one of the first picks on the team sheet in pre-season and then had an excellent first league game against St Johnstone.
“I am just looking for that killer instinct and he showed it [on Saturday]. We have been demanding him to be a killer and he was. But I think he could have been even more. There was a good opportunity in the first half to bend one in the far post, but he got there which was great.
“Then there were a couple of through balls that a player of his quality I think should execute. Maybe I am being harsh, but that is where I see him. Sometimes, if a manager is not on you, not striving and not pushing you to be the best, then you are probably on your way out. I expect and demand a lot and I am not accepting mediocrity from a player of his talent.”
Henderson might have expected a little more in way of a pat on the back for his showing but there has been a maturity from the player himself as he accepted that he needs to do more and on a more regular basis. “I agree with the gaffer,” he said when questioned on the comments. “I’ve not been at my best this season. I would say I’m pretty harsh [on myself]. I’m honest in the way I play the game so I’m always going to be harsh because I know what I am capable of. “
Hibs are away to Pittodrie next Friday night as they face an Aberdeen side who will be smarting on the back of their limp display at Ibrox this weekend. The challenge for Henderson and for Hibs is showing that they are capable of piecing together a run of form that can anchor them into that third spot which seems to change hands every other weekend.
Aside from the result on Saturday and the manner in which it was delivered there were positives in the overall performance. Johnson joked that you wouldn’t want to be messing too much with defender Rocky Bushiri but he was solid and composed at the back to the extent that a number of Hibs supporters could be heard to sing his praises on the way out on the ground.
Marrying that defensive solidity with an attacking flair will be key to how this season plays out for Hibs with a need to ensure it is just one among a number of solid showings.
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