New Hibs signing Jair Tavares vows results will improve after debut to forget
The Portuguese winger was a half-time substitute in the 1-1 draw in Edinburgh, a result was changed to a 3-0 loss after it was discovered Rocky Bushiri played while suspended, confirming the club’s exit from the competition.
Tavares initially injected some life into proceedings after coming off the bench at half-time against Morton, but he and the team soon lost its spark. In the end, Ewan Henderson was required to save Hibs from defeat on the night following Grant Gillespie’s opener from the penalty spot, though they even failed to pick up two points with misses from Henderson, Aiden McGeady and Ryan Porteous missing in the shoot-out.
“It was good but not good enough,” said a despondent Tavares about his debut after the game. “I don't think just about me. We are a team, we are a group, and that's how we have to think.
"It was good to experience [Easter Road] for the first time. I felt the energy that was passed down to me from the stands. But it wasn't the most important thing. We didn't win.”
It’s a worryingly poor start to the Lee Johnson era with pressure already building following a lacklustre 2021/22 season for the club. Though difficult to remain calm after a performance like that, there are a few external factors to consider if one wishes to be optimistic that things will eventually right themselves in Leith.
New signings have been prevented from making an early mark due to red-tape issues, with Marijan Cabraja and Elie Youan still unable to feature. It’s the reason why the club had to wait until July 20 to give Tavares his competitive debut as he registration couldn’t be completed. The player himself isn’t interested in excuses, though, especially after failing to win at home to a team in the division below.
"No it doesn't affect nothing,” he said when asked if the work permit issues had played a part in Hibs’ sluggish start to the campaign. “There are more players with quality here, so we have to trust each other and that's it.
"The wait was a bit frustrating, but now I'm in and I'm on. Now that I'm here I just want to enjoy every moment I'm on the pitch with my team, with the group, that's it.
“In my instance, I'm new here. Scottish football is so different compared to Portuguese football. I'm here to improve, I'm here to learn. Everyone else is here to learn too.”
He continued: "We know the mistakes that we made. We know the first half wasn't the best. Now we just have to keep improving. The season isn't over and there's a lot of games to play.
“We are focused. The weeks that we've had together were good, we worked good together with effort and the players are focused. We have to forget this game and think about the next ones.
“Hibs is a historic club here in Scotland. We have to take that responsibility. We just can't disappoint the fans. We made some key mistakes that we can't make any more because we don't have time for this. We know that we are a good team.”
Message from the editor
Thank you for reading this article. If you haven't already, please consider supporting our sports coverage with a digital sports subscription.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.