'We need to get better in there' - Chris Cadden pinpoints Hibs weak spot as defender admits VAR frustration

Chris Cadden has urged the authorities and Scotland’s referees to find a way to address the issues with VAR sooner rather than later after another round of fixtures were marred by long waits and contentious decisions.

Hibs were left kicking themselves as too many individual errors and lapses in concentration in both boxes saw them slip to a 4-1 defeat at Pittodrie on Friday night and that cost them third place in the Premiership.

But while there was no denying the need for personal reflection as manager Lee Johnson once again called out his side’s ‘soft underbelly’, the Easter Road defender has claimed there are others who should also be looking at themselves and trying to make swift improvements.

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In a close game, Hibs edged things for most of the first half against Jim Goodwin’s Pittodrie side but were undone by a penalty after the video assistant referees intervened and urged match official David Munro to reassess Hibs’ keeper David Marshall’s contact with Aberdeen forward Luis ‘Duk’ Lopes in the area.

Subsequent replays show that the Cape Verde international was already on his way down by the time the former Scotland No 1’s knee caught him, which vindicated Cadden’s opinion on the night.

“You just need to trust [the decision] but from where I was standing he was already going down. I will need to see it back. I tried to look at the screen [as the referee was reviewing the footage] but I was told to go back.”

But he was irked by the ultimate call, which led to Aberdeen going in 1-0 up at the interval, and the length of time taken to make that and other VAR rulings, which would suggest they were far from clear and obvious errors.

“I guess you know that when they are taking longer that there must be a decision to make or they are trying to come to a conclusion.

Chris Cadden in action for Hibs durng the 4-1 defeat to Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Friday. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

“But it’s not great, to be honest. Hopefully, they can sort out the teething problems. It’s not great standing about but you have to deal with it.”

While VAR can kill the flow of games and, on this occasion, left Hibs on the back foot after controlling much of the opening period, the Leith side quashed their own hopes of retaining third spot. Producing another decent showing box to box, there were deficiencies at both ends, which Aberdeen were only too willing and able to exploit.

“It has been three set pieces that have done us,” lamented Cadden. “I felt comfortable in the first half; I thought we were good, dominated the ball, had a threat and created a couple of chances we should maybe have done better with.

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“But we need to be better as players when it comes to defending the box and scoring goals. That is what football is all about - the penalty box, and we, as players, need to get better in there. That is where you win and lose games.”

They now have two games ahead of the World Cup hiatus to try to win back third place, starting with Tuesday night’s home match against Ross County.

“[Losing third spot] is big for us. We want to go into the break on a high. It’s a massive week and it needs to be full-steam ahead.”

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