Paul McGinn on target but defender loses sleep over Hibs failure to achieve their goals

A guy who can boast little more than a dozen goals in his entire professional career, Paul McGinn grabbed an unlikely brace on Tuesday night but he still did not head home happy.

Hibs' Paul McGinn contributed two goals against St Johnstone but was frustrated not to win the game. Photo by Ross Parker/SNS Group

“Considering we were quite poor, it was good to drag us off the canvas. But there's a real sense of frustration with how poor we were on the ball,” said the right-back, who twice clawed back the deficit against St Johnstone.

It was enough to elevate the Leith side above Aberdeen in the battle for third place but while he enjoyed the goals and the congratulatory text messages they elicited, he said he did not expect to drift off easily as he replayed the sub-standard team performance back in his mind.

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“Maybe I should give St Johnstone more credit because they are hard to play against. They stop balls into the striker and even when we went two up top, they got even better at that. The final ball just wasn't there for us. It's just an annoying night. We've not beaten them here in years and I'll not sleep well.”

Grabbed a brace with two well-taken goals and was up and down the right flank throughout the game

The 30 year-old’s attitude serves to illustrate how high the bar has been set at Hibs this season, with draws no longer deemed good enough - even against historically difficult opponents - and dips in performance levels the kind of thing that keeps players awake at night.

McGinn’s mood might have been more positive had he managed to complete the dream hat-trick and provide a winner, which despite a limited back catalogue of goals, he felt confident he could have delivered had the ball dropped to him.

“I scored three for St Mirren before coming to Hibs but before that I was probably averaging about a goal a season! So, that was a good start to my Hibs tally.

“Honestly, I was sneaking in at the back post right at the end thinking 'I'm on a hat-trick and this is coming across' - I was getting a bit excited. And, I'd have fancied myself to finish it.

“I've had a few texts from people coming out of the woodwork who usually only text me to slag me off - so it's nice to get a few plaudits for a change. I am pleased, but I’m frustrated.

“There were a few chances at 1-1 for us to sneak ahead and I would have really fancied us from there. But, listen, they are no mugs and we'll take it.”

With two goals apiece, it was Hibs’ second successive stalemate at Easter Road, having had to settle for the same scoreline against Celtic at the weekend and it had been McGinn’s handball that had gifted the Glasgow side the penalty kick that allowed them back into that game, ensuring another day of frustration.

“I think every team is frustrated with the [latest handball] rules and I'm sure they'll be changed down the line. But it was a sore one to take. It was me who had my hand dangling there and I was punished, although I'm not sure what I was supposed to do with it. I'll chop it off next time!”

Tuesday night’s contribution offered him a modicum of redemption but, as it only secured one point rather than three, it offered less satisfaction than he’d hoped.

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