Lee Johnson's Hibs have turned a corner - just as he predicted they would

Back in July, amidst a poor Premier Sports Cup group stage campaign, Lee Johnson was honest enough to admit that it would take his Hibs side "four or five" league games to get going this season.

That pre-season prediction now looks freakishly accurate with the Easter Road boss putting a stuttering start to his reign behind him by registering three successive wins on the bounce across Premiership matches six, seven and eight.

The progress made from defeats at St Mirren and Livingston in the opening weeks was evident in Dingwall on Saturday with a clean sheet, two goals and 24 goal attempts highlighting major improvements in defence and attack.

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The return of Martin Boyle – the scorer of the second goal against Ross County after Ryan Porteous capped a dream week with the opener – has been an undoubted catalyst.

But all across the pitch, the fruits of Johnson's labour on the training pitch are starting to show with the kind of joined up, attack-minded football that the former Sunderland boss promised following his summer appointment.

The only real gripe from the trip to the Highlands was that the winning margin should have been greater.

"That’s what we need to keep improving, those finishes," Johnson said.

“It is the detail on the pass, the understanding of what your team-mate wants.

Hibs' Martin Boyle celebrates with Ryan Porteous after making it 2-0 in the win over Ross County. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)Hibs' Martin Boyle celebrates with Ryan Porteous after making it 2-0 in the win over Ross County. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
Hibs' Martin Boyle celebrates with Ryan Porteous after making it 2-0 in the win over Ross County. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

“That team has been pretty consistent over three or four weeks and that’s what we need to do and if someone breaks in they are either performing fantastically well in training, there is an injury or some poor form.

“I think that 11 know that they have to really perform well very week to hold on to that shirt.”

Porteous followed up his memorable Scotland debut against Ukraine by scoring Hibs' opener in the first minute of the second half, taking advantage of slack defending from a Joe Newell throw-in to drive in from close range.

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"The gaffer was actually taking credit for it because we were taking throw-ins short and then said, 'I think we'll give Ross County a taste of their own medicine and launch it in ourselves',” the defender said.

"I flicked it on and it landed at my feet. I don't score many, especially not with my left foot anyway, so I'll take them."

Boyle added a second 10 minutes from time, firing home a low cross from Chris Cadden, as Hibs racked up three wins, and scored twice away from home in the top flight for the first time since December last year.

Porteous added: "It was a pretty complete performance. Ross County did play well, but I think 2-0 maybe flatters them. On another day Boyley could've had a hat-trick. It's a good professional performance and it's good to get back to winning ways again."

The defeat leaves County 10th in the cinch Premiership with one win in eight, and the Staggies players were back in training on Sunday preparing for the visit of Motherwell on Tuesday night.

Boss Malky Mackay said: “The boys are desperate to get out there and make amends and that’s all credit to them.

“We have Motherwell coming up on Tuesday night. It’s another home game so there is no travelling involved so we have to go out there on Tuesday night and give a good account of ourselves.”



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