Hibs still have long way to go, says Liam Craig

James Collins celebrates his second goal of the game only to be told he was offside and it won't count. Picture: SNS
James Collins celebrates his second goal of the game only to be told he was offside and it won't count. Picture: SNS
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Liam Craig was named man of the match on Saturday by club guest Irvine Welsh but the midfielder himself preferred to heap praise on team-mates James Collins and Paul Heffernan.

Both strikers were on the scoresheet as Hibernian beat St Mirren 2-0, with Collins’ opener being the first time this season that the Edinburgh side had scored first.

“That’s them both scored a goal each in the last two weeks, so long may it continue, “ Craig said. “The goal last week did James the world of good.

“There was a lot of pressure on him when he wasn’t scoring, but we see him day in, day out in training, and we know he has got the ability to score goals. So hopefully he can kick on now and score more goals. Now we’re playing with a bit of confidence it’s easier for James when Heff’s up there helping him.”

It was Hibs’ first win of the season at Easter Road but they are now unbeaten in five games. All the same, Craig warned that, despite their obvious improvement in recent weeks, they were still far from the finished article. “It’s nice to go unbeaten in five, but there’s still a long way to go,” the former St Johnstone player said. “Let’s say the signs are there. It’s nice to get the results but there was no panic at the start and Jimmy [Nicholl] and the gaffer were excellent in training when the results weren’t going our way. Now we’re not going to get carried away by a couple of wins either. Great result for us, but I thought we had the performance to match it, which was just as pleasing. And the fact it was at Easter Road was even better.

“The message was to get a goal in front. We’d not been in front this season yet, so it was nice to go in 1-0 at half-time. Once we got the second goal it was pretty comfortable, and it could have been more in the end. It is a strong squad of players we’ve got here. Now it’s really important we kick on.”

St Mirren’s need to kick on is altogether more urgent after a result that leaves them with just one point and heaps the pressure on manager Danny Lennon. “We’re right behind the gaffer and we need to keep going,” centre-half Marc McAusland said.

“It’s about hard work and hopefully getting a couple of breaks. It’s one result and we’ll get a bit of confidence and, hopefully, get a couple of goals and our fortune changes. If we keep the team spirit going, then I’m sure it’s going to change. We know we’ve not been good enough. We’re down there, and you can only pick yourself up. It hurts. I’m a Paisley boy and I hear it a lot from the fans but I’m sure all the boys are hurting just as much.”