What Shaun Maloney said after first win as Hibs boss - 'that's why the game went the way it did'

New Hibs manager Shaun Maloney hailed the bravery of his players after they found a way to win his first game at the helm.

Shaun Maloney celebrates his first win as Hibs manager after the 1-0 victory over Aberdeen (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
Shaun Maloney celebrates his first win as Hibs manager after the 1-0 victory over Aberdeen (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

And he said that if that is how well they respond after a couple of training sessions, he is looking forward to having more time to work with them over the winter shutdown.

“I enjoyed it. But I’m glad for the players who were rewarded for their effort.

“I’m very proud of the players because they played the way they did after two sessions, showing bravery.

“‘The first half, the way they tried to play - there was always going to be mistakes after just two sessions - the fact they kept trying, that’s huge credit to them. The staff have worked really hard but the players have been really, really open minded.

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“Then in the second half, the way they defended in the last 15 minutes was incredible, considering what had happened in the final, what they put in at Hampden.

“That was part of the reason why the game went the way it did in the second half. We couldn’t get as much pressure on the ball up the park.”

But after Ryan Porteous made the breakthrough heading home a corner, they did enough to ensure all three points.

“I’m really happy, the chairman is delighted. Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel that the pressure is off!”

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His side have another quick turnaround, though, as they head up to Tannadice on Boxing Day for their final fixture before the winter shutdown, which has been brought forward in the hope that omicron has been corralled and fans will be allowed back into the grounds by the time they return in mid January.

“We will see what the protocols are then but, generally, it kind of makes sense. It’s a shame that the Boxing Day games are curtailed to crowds of 500.

“But that’s where we are.

“It will be good to get time on the training pitch. But it’s such a tough situation, I don’t really want to use it as a positive. The players will get some time off and hopefully those two weeks will be good for players who really need a break.”

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