Hibs reaction: How to hold crowd, the £10m player, Australian auditions, player ratings
How to hold a crowd
If Easter Road was full to the gunnels last Friday night as VAR took its Scottish football bow, there were more empty seats on show than Hibs would have liked for the win over St Mirren. It was a pity given what was a fairly impressive performance from Lee Johnson’s side. Ultimately, though, the Hibs manager will be cognisant that the real currency when it comes to putting bums on seats is a team that keeps them on the edge of them. This was a fairly compelling opening period before Hibs turned the screw on the Paisley side with a second-half showing that displayed a confidence and assurance that had seemed be conspicuous by its absence in recent outings. Sustaining such form will be key to holding a crowd.
I wouldn’t let him go for £10m
Rocky Bushiri drew immense satisfaction from one crunching tackle on Keanu Baccus as he offered the forward a reminder of his presence as St Mirren managed over the half-way line in the second period. Quite whether it now enables him to live up to his manager’s hefty pricetag may be a matter for dispute. “When I came first walked through the door, he was one I was probably happy to move on,” admitted Johnson. “Now I wouldn’t let him go for £10 million. We have given Rocky simple rules to which he has to adhere in his defending. In the past, I felt he was too rash in his decision-making. We drilled him and he has been a good student. “When I looked back in his history, someone told me that for two years he hadn’t trained on three consecutive days on the spin. You wouldn’t want to go near him because he can just maul people with his frame.”
Passing the Aussie audition
Lurking in the background of this game was a faint strain of Waltzing Matilda as three Aussies took to the pitch with next month’s World Cup uppermost in mind. Before kick-off one was assured of his presence on the flight to Qatar while the other two were looking to add to their persuasive essays on that front. The tournament loomed large over Boyle as he left the pitch after receiving treatment on his leg with understandable trepidation in the aftermath of the collision. For St Mirren’s Keanu Baccus and Ryan Strain, they will feel that this audition passed them by when it comes to making the case for their inclusion in Graham Arnold’s squad.
Hibs (3-5-2): Marshall 6 – Porteous 6 (Fish 79), Bushiri 7, Hanlon 6 – Cadden 7, Henderson 7 (Campbell 78), Kenneh 7, Newell 7, Cabraja 7 (Stevenson 78) – Boyle 6 (Melkersen 64), Kukharevych 7 (Youan 79). Unused subs: Tavares, Schofield, McGregor, Fish, Aiken
St Mirren: Carson 6 – Strain 6 (Flynn 73), Fraser 5, Gogic 5, Dunne 5 (Henderson 81), Tait 4 (Shaughnessey 46) – Baccus 5 (Kiltie 73), Erhahon 5, O’Hara 6 – Ayunga 6 (Greive 70), Main 5. Unused subs: Brophy, Reid, Urminsky, Kenny