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Shape-shifting Hibs benefit from new blood – John Greechan’s Talking Points



The victory for Hibs in Inverness not only secured their place in the next round of the Scottish Cup but also served as a morale booster for Nick Montgomery and his team. Beyond the tangible outcome of advancing in the competition, the win provided an opportunity for the players to celebrate their success and build confidence in themselves and their abilities.

In addition to the immediate satisfaction of progressing in the cup, the victory generated several noteworthy talking points. These discussions offer fans and observers insights into the team’s performance, individual player contributions, and areas for improvement. For those who enjoy analyzing and dissecting match outcomes, these talking points serve as valuable fodder for ongoing conversations and debates.

Overall, the win in Inverness served as more than just a ticket to the next round of the cup. It provided a much-needed morale boost for Hibs and offered intriguing talking points for fans and pundits alike to ponder and discuss in the days following the match.

The shape of things to come

The shift in formations for Hibs, from a 4-3-3/4-5-1, has indeed coincided with improved performance, but it’s crucial not to attribute causation solely to the tactical change. Instead, the availability of key players for specific roles has played a significant role in the team’s success.

For instance, the presence of Jordan Obita on the wing allowed Eliezer Mayenda to thrive in the front three by creating space for him to drive inside. When Elie Youan replaced Mayenda, his experience likely capitalized even further on Obita’s overlapping runs.

In defense, Nectar Triantis benefited from the hard work of Nathan Moriah-Walsh and Joe Newell in shielding the back four, allowing him to have a less frantic outing. Additionally, Dylan Levitt’s impressive performance after replacing Luke Amos at halftime showcased the depth of the squad.

Moreover, the sharpness of substitutes like Adam Le Fondre adds to the positive signs for Hibs, indicating that the team is shaping up well across various departments. It’s not just about the formation but also about the cohesion and effectiveness of the players within that system.

An in-form Martin Boyle is worth his weight in medals

Martin Boyle, the Socceroos star, doesn’t seem to show signs of physical weariness or mental distress following the disappointment of the early elimination from the Asian Cup. This could be attributed partly to being restored to his preferred position on the right wing and partly to his ability to generate energy through his charismatic personality. Boyle’s performance in the recent match had his teammates buzzing, evident in his impactful play.

An example of his influence was seen in the second goal, where Boyle displayed his willingness to gamble on the defender’s mistake and capitalized on the opportunity with confidence. His ability to thrive in chaotic situations was evident, as he almost seemed to enjoy the challenge while scoring from a tight angle. Additionally, Boyle contributed with an assist, marking his first involvement in a Hibs goal since December 9, coincidentally, the last time the team won a league game. Given his contributions, Boyle’s return to form is warmly welcomed by the team.

New recruits are still finding their feet

Five of Montgomery’s seven January signings started the game in Inverness. Emiliano Marcondes, who had missed the midweek match through injury, came off the bench. And Owen Bevan, a centre-half signed on loan despite turning up injured, wasn’t available. Clearly, he wants to put his stamp on the team as quickly as possible.

But the manager is smart enough to know that he can’t just bury new boys – some of whom haven’t played much of what you’d call proper competitive football this season – under a mountain of minutes and a tonne of expectations. He has to blood them at the right time, pick the good moments.

Of the five starters, Moriah-Welsh was busy, Mayenda adventurous, Triantis a little less jittery, Amos quieter than his fellow new faces. And Myziane Maolida? It doesn’t matter that his goal came via a deflection. He bought a ticket and won the lottery.

The Comoros international just has the look and feel of someone who will hit the net quite regularly. And surely one of those overhead kick attempts has to come off before the end of the season, right?

Chrissy Cadden is a bona fide geezer and all-round good egg

The Hibs players’ applause for fullback Cadden in the dressing room after the game speaks volumes about his dedication and hard work to recover from an Achilles injury sustained in the final fixture of the previous season. Despite the limited playing time of just 10 minutes, including injury time, in the recent match against Inverness, Cadden’s return to the pitch symbolized the culmination of his relentless commitment to recovery.

His teammates have witnessed firsthand the rigorous rehabilitation process he endured, from medical examinations to post-surgery immobility, and the long waits for progress. Throughout this challenging journey, Cadden remained steadfast in his determination to return to playing football.

Although his time on the pitch may have been brief, the significance of his comeback transcends mere statistics. For anyone who appreciates the beautiful game, Cadden’s return serves as a heartening reminder of resilience and determination in the face of adversity.



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