'This is going to take time': Hibs message delivered as Joe Newell reveals 'annoying' fan shout

Defeat Motherwell and Hibs move into fourth place in the Premiership table.

Joe Newell and Hibs are aiming for fourth place in the cinch Premiership.
Joe Newell and Hibs are aiming for fourth place in the cinch Premiership.

In recent weeks they have proved themselves fairly adept at responding to similar enticements

“It does feel like a big game – but then every game has felt that way,” according to manager Shaun Maloney. “We had this exact same feeling when we played Aberdeen - Aberdeen were ahead of us. When we played Dundee United they were ahead of us. This feels very similar to those games.

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“If we can perform like we did in large parts of those two games then hopefully it will be a positive result for us.”

New Hibs manager Shaun Maloney gets his message across.

Game by game, rung by rung, they have been hauling themselves up the standings since Maloney arrived towards the end of December.

Having been cast out of the top six in the weeks prior to that, the fact the Leith club have recovered to such an extent that they could position themselves as the nearest challengers to third-placed Hearts by the time Robbie Neilson’s men head to Easter Road on Tuesday, fuels the inner belief.

It also supports the theory that new manager Maloney’s shift in playing style could reap rewards.

The prospect of such a turnaround in fortunes is not lost on those involved, with midfielder Joe Newell acknowledging that things would suddenly “feel a lot different than they did a few weeks, or a couple of months ago”.

Newell says Hibs' players are working hard to learn new styles.

“The short term goal is to win and go fourth, then we can see what happens from there,” Newell said. “At the start of the season, as a club, a European place was obviously a target so if we win this game then we are back where we want to be.”

While accepting that there were still grumblings from the stands as they made heavy weather of dispatching lower league Cove Rangers in the Scottish Cup, the 28 year-old Englishman said there is comfort in that fact they are still finding ways to win while negotiating such a transitional period is encouraging.

“There had been a lot of changes on and off the field but we have had a few weeks to work on the training ground and for the gaffer to get his ideas across. We are adapting to a different style but we are enjoying it.

“Listen, I'm a football fan as well and if I’m watching my team I’m the same, I’m shouting “score!” or “just shoot”, so, I get it, I get what the fans are thinking and how they are feeling. But, in all honesty, it can be annoying when you hear it. I think everyone has to understand that we are going through a bit of a transition as a club and as a team. We are playing a completely new style and it would be a miracle if we were to go out and win every game and immediately produce a really good style of play on a consistent basis. It’s just not going to be like that.

“This is going to take time. The gaffer has only just come in and we are adapting to him and trying to learn how he wants to do things and that might take a while but hopefully the outcome will be good, attractive football with good results.”

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