Hibs: Strike quartet to boost goal return – Yogi

HIBS boss John Hughes reckons his four frontmen are as good as any in the country – but today he insisted they can get even better.

Derek Riordan, Anthony Stokes, Merouane Zemmama and Abdessalam Benjelloun (pictured above, left to right) have already plundered 13 goals between them this season, each capable of winning a game on his own.

However, Hughes believes that as the four learn more about each other's game their strike rate will rise.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And, although he doesn't want any of them to lose that "maverick" streak which has seen each score spectacular individual efforts, Hughes revealed there's plenty of hard work going on at the club's training ground to make his foursome an even more formidable threat.

He said: "These four are right up there with the best in Scotland but what we are trying to do is make them even better, to have a greater understanding of each other's game.

"I feel that will improve and the training session we had the other day was fantastic, working with the four. We want them to go out and express themselves and individually they have all done that many times.

"You see Derek dip the shoulder and curl the ball in at the far post and while we want to see him continue to do that and the others to do so, we are just trying to add to their game.

"We are only nine games in, Anthony is just starting to settle while I think Benji probably still has a couple of matches to go."

Hughes, however, insisted his hitmen still need to ally a work ethic to their undoubted skills in and around the penalty area.

He said: "I keep saying they have to make sure they work on the fundamentals, every striker can tackle, win his headers, track back and double up and, if we do that, we will be a hard team to beat.

"Benji, for example, is working extremely hard. When he gets the ball in the last quarter you sit up and say 'on you go'. But he's the one who has to drop off and help the midfield.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"If you look at Anthony's goal against Rangers, it was Liam Miller's blind side run which took Steven Whittaker away.

"So we need everyone doing their job, working hard, chasing lost causes and putting a shift in.

"It's been evident that all four have been working ever so hard and the tests we do show their fitness levels are right up there."

Hughes knows the threat of his fearsome foursome will undoubtedly lead to them becoming marked men.

"It will probably come to the stage where they are going to be man marked," he said.

"But if that is the case, if we do the fundamentals and they can get the better of their markers we will win the football match."

Hughes' main concern for the visit of Aberdeen on Saturday is centre-half Sol Bamba, who had an injection earlier this week in a bid to reduce the inflammation in a knee injury.

However, the Ivory Coast international was expected to return to training today.