Switching to a back three could be the answer to Hibs’ midfield dilemma

Tactical switch would allow Christian Doidge and Kevin Nisbet to stay up top

Sunday, 30th August 2020, 7:30 am
Kevin Nisbet, usually a central striker, was pushed out wide in Hibs' draw with Motherwell. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS Group
Kevin Nisbet, usually a central striker, was pushed out wide in Hibs' draw with Motherwell. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS Group

Hibs have made a great start to the season with 13 points from their five games.

The only points dropped came in the goalless draw with Motherwell. Watching that match it struck me that manager Jack Ross, right, has some important decisions to make.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He has decided to play with Christian Doidge and new signing Kevin Nisbet as two out and out central strikers who stay in advanced areas and seldom drop back to help out in midfield.

This is positive and attack minded and has meant the team adopting a 4-4-2 system. So far it has worked out well but against Motherwell there were signs that he might have to make some modifications to the system.

The problem was that Hibs’ two central midfielders were opposed to three from Motherwell and, not surprisingly, they came off second best, with the Well dominating midfield and possession of the ball.

Ross identified the problem and changed things at half-time.

His diagnosis was correct but the prescription he wrote was the wrong one.

Hibs went to a 4-3-3 system, with the promising Nisbet being moved out of the centre to a wide right position.

The young lad looked lost and looked even more lost when, late in the game, he was moved to a wide left berth.

There is real merit in having 
Doidge and Nisbet as out and out central strikers but Ross must find a system that, not only keeps Nisbet 
in a central position, but that also gives them numerical equality in midfield.

My answer would be to play 3-5-2 
with Paul McGinn joining Ryan Porteous and Paul Hanlon in a back three. I will be interested to see 
what the Hibs manager comes up with.

Oh, and by the way, it is so much easier being an armchair critic than a manager.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to scotsman.com and enjoy unlimited access to Scottish news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.u2swisshome.com/subscriptions now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Joy Yates

Editorial Director

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.