Lee Johnson on why he enjoyed tactical side of Hibs win, McGeady injury update and Kilmarnock boss frustration

Hibs boss Lee Johnson was encouraged by his side’s 2-0 win over Kilmarnock with the team still in “transition” – however there was less positive news surrounding Aiden McGeady's injury.

The Easter Road side scored in either half through Will Fish and Matthew Hoppe in what was a comfortable win in the end in front of more than 16,000 fans in Leith. The three points lifted the team into fourth place, five points behind rivals Hearts.

“I was delighted with a very professional performance throughout," Johnson said. “First half we were fluid, some lovely combination play but really well structured behind the ball as well. Disappointed not to come in more than one goal up and that became the half time conversation, the threat for the second half.

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“We limited them to not many opportunities and had a fair few ourselves, I think 20 shots. I thought we still defended well. I know there were a couple sort of cleared off the line, it goes to show that the clean sheets are so important. Six, seven weeks ago we were conceding three a game. A lot of work and a few signings has enabled us to keep more clean sheets which is very good.”

“It’s a team that’s still in transition. We’ve talked about recruits, how we move players on but that’s what they’ve got to do - put on performances like that at home.

“It was a well coached performance from the team, not talking about myself. I mean everyone out there was well organised and never left themselves in too much trouble. I really enjoyed it from a tactical point of view and credit to the boys for that.”

While Hibs welcomed back Kyle Magennis and Jake Doyle-Hayes with Kevin Nisbet set to return, they will likely be without McGeady in the coming weeks after he was replaced with a hamstring injury in the first half.

“He said it’s a bad one,” Johnson said. “He said he’s never done his hamstring before but he felt it pop quite badly. It’s tough. We have had no luck with our forwards.”

Hibs head coach Lee Johnson looks on from the sidelines at Easter Road. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)Hibs head coach Lee Johnson looks on from the sidelines at Easter Road. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Hibs head coach Lee Johnson looks on from the sidelines at Easter Road. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

‘Less passive’

Kilmarnock boss Derek McInnes was left bemused by Kyle Vassell’s red card following VAR’s intervention and described the result as “disappointing”, lamenting the lack of competitiveness from his team in the first half, leading to a triple substitution at half-time and a change of shape.

“We need to show more aggression and be less passive,” he said. “It was everything we weren't at Tannadice last week. We didn't allow ourselves to be countered, our distances were good, we were good in possession. I thought we weren't today. We had some decent moments and had opportunities, but Hibs enjoyed the first half far too easily. Them scoring from a set-piece was also disappointing.“We looked to go 4-3-3 against 4-3-3. With Christian Doidge unavailable we thought we should match up, but Hibs were better individually all over the park in the first half. We made changes at half-time. I thought the substitutes did well, to be honest. I felt the change of shape helped us. But when you lose a poor goal at the start of the second half it makes everything difficult.”



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