Sylvester Jasper frustrated by Hibs lack of goals but on-loan Fulham winger insists they will come
Hibs’ lack of goals is inflating the frustration levels, not just in the stands.
The team are embroiled in a nip and tuck battle for European football but first they have to cement their place in the top six. To do that, they will need to start conjuring up goals, to add to the clean sheets.
Sitting fourth in the table after their third successive 0-0 result, this time at home to St Johnstone, there was an acceptance that they will have to be more creative and more clinical in the final third as they see out the remainder of the season.
A tough ask considering two of last season’s prolific three-man strikeforce are missing following Martin Boyle’s January move and Kevin Nisbet’s season-ending knee injury, the men who have been brought in now have to find a solution.
Sylvester Jasper, along with second half substitute Elias Melkersen, tried to produce the kind of inventiveness required but for all the team’s endeavour, shots on target were few and far between.
“It was extremely frustrating,” said the on-loan Fulham winger. “We were the better team throughout and we created more chances but we couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net, which is the most important thing in football. If you don’t do that, you’re not going to win games.
“I felt like I tried to make things happen with the ball and create for my team-mates. But at the end of the day we didn’t win the game, which is the most important thing. You can play the best game in the world, but if you don’t win, the fans aren’t happy and we’re not happy, so it doesn’t really matter. But as long as I can just keep helping the team, in whatever way I can, and we win games, then I’m happy.
“We are in a bit of a slump right now. But we are working on it. I’m sure once one goal goes in, they’ll all start flowing in.”
Despite so many players being unavailable due to injury, illness and, now, suspension, Hibs have made improvements in recent matches and look assured at the back, which is why they have collected five clean sheets and conceded just four goals in the past eight games but in that same time period they have netted just five and drawn a blank in six of those encounters.
“We’ve got to look back at the games and look for patterns and see where the manager can change,” said the Bulgarian Under-21 international. “And then we as players have got to work on being more ruthless. Maybe that means staying behind in training and working on certain situations and scenarios that might come up in a game.
“I feel like we just need something: we might need a jammy goal or a deflection or a penalty or something. In football, once you get one, they all start flowing.”
Melkersen tested St Johnstone’s mettle when he joined the action but his shot was deflected clear, as was Josh Doig’s strike.
Which added to the frustration and disappointment at the end of their tussle with the relegation battlers.
“We are on the pitch to perform and get results,” said Jasper, “and we didn’t do that today, so we can have no excuses.”
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