Shaun Maloney vows to keep working hard as he tries to shape Hibernian team

Hibernian v Heart of Midlothian – cinch Premiership – Easter Road
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Shaun Maloney explained that it is likely to take some time to get his Hibernian side to the level he wants, but he will keep striving to get the team into the top four this term.

Maloney took over from Jack Ross in December when Hibs were seventh in the cinch Premiership and he has since managed to lift them above Aberdeen and Dundee United into fifth place.

However, underwhelming recent form – including home defeats against Livingston and St Mirren – has sparked some negativity among supporters. Maloney pointed out that Hibs, who recently sold talisman Martin Boyle, are in transition and that setbacks along the way are inevitable.

“I think the supporters were reasonably supportive against St Mirren because they could see the performance was good,” he said.

“But I understand the dynamics as well that if we don’t win, they’re not happy. We’re working extremely hard to try to change parts of the performance into wins.

“I said when we took over that there would be wins and losses. I knew where the club was at. There was a reason we were seventh so we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’re still there pushing for fourth and we’re going to push for fourth until the last day, and we’re still in a cup competition.

“I knew what I was taking over but I’m working extremely hard to make sure we’re in a far better position come the end of the season and going into next season.

“It’s not been that settled in terms of having the transfer window and some injuries but my job is to find answers to these things. I think we’re still really early in the process but I also understand that even in the short term we want to win games.

“If we don’t win home games our supporters don’t go home happy so I understand their unhappiness when they leave a home game and we haven’t won, particularly St Mirren because that’s a game we should have won. I’m working extremely hard to make sure that, home and away, results are different.”

Hibs are viewed as big underdogs as they travel to champions Rangers on Wednesday, but Maloney takes heart from the fact his side have lost only once in five meetings with teams who were above them in the table at that particular point.

“The performances against teams above us have been very good, when you look at Aberdeen, Dundee United, Hearts and even Motherwell away,” he said.

“Even in the Celtic game, when we lost and didn’t create as much, at times the performance was good. But it’s in every other game that our levels have to be at the same level they were at against Hearts.

“They were at that level for 25-30 minutes of the second half against St Mirren but we have to produce for 90 minutes against every team in the league, no matter where they are in the league.”

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