Hibernian V Dundee Utd at Easter Road Stadium : Match Preview

10 November 2012 04:01
Hibernian V Dundee Utd - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Fenlon keen to build on home run

Manager Pat Fenlon hopes his Hibernian side can extend their unbeaten home record beyond Sunday's Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Dundee United.

This season at Easter Road, Hibs have four wins and two draws from six matches, which represents a stark contrast to results in Leith in recent campaigns. Over the course of the last two seasons, the sum total number of SPL home wins was seven.

"We want to keep our record going here; it's important we try to maintain that for as long as we can," said Fenlon, whose side climbed to the top of the SPL with victory over St Mirren last weekend.

"We've got to make sure our own shape is right and that we start the game on the front foot.

"We didn't do that last week against St Mirren; we're at home, we've got to impress our game on top of them."

United claimed a 3-0 win over Hibernian at Tannadice on the opening day of the season, but Hibs have lost just twice in the SPL since.

Fenlon is eager to see his improving side right the wrongs of that August 5 result against a United side beginning to return to form after a stutter.

"I've been delighted with them, from after Dundee United when we didn't perform," he added.

"Since then we've been very, very good and very strong.

"They beat us well on the first day of the season. We'd like to change that result around a little bit, but we know they're a quality side.

"They're starting to get players back and they've hit a little bit of form.

"I said at the start of the season I thought themselves and Motherwell would probably be the teams that would push Celtic a little bit.

"But it's a good test for us as well, to see how far we've come."

The performances of on-loan Wolves striker Leigh Griffiths have been key for Hibernian this term.

Griffiths has netted 11 goals but was overlooked for Scotland selection for next week's trip to Luxembourg, although the change of national team boss is likely to have had an influence.

Fenlon added: "He's playing really well at the moment. All he's got to do is continue to score goals, play well and hopefully he'll get an opportunity to play (for Scotland)."

United manager Peter Houston insists his side's secret to success recently has been refusing to look too far ahead.

The Tannadice club have shaken off their early-season sluggishness which saw them slip to second bottom and moved up into seventh place thanks to their hard-fought 1-0 win away to Motherwell at Fir Park during the week.

United are in the middle of a hectic schedule which has brought out the best in Houston's men, who were widely tipped to be challenging for second spot in the SPL before a ball was kicked.

And Houston, who watched his side come from 2-0 down to earn a share of the spoils in last Sunday's match with Celtic, is not about to change his philosophy which has served the Taysiders well in the past.

He said: "We've played against some good sides recently and it's been hectic.

"St Mirren fall into that category, Aberdeen are a good team, Hearts are one of the best in the country and Celtic are obviously an excellent side.

"But we'll just take just one game at a time. That's always been our policy at this club and it's something we're happy with.

"Hibs are the first obstacle which we see in front of us going into Sunday's match.

"By treating it this way, we can see the strengths and weaknesses of each club and try to come up with a game-plan which we can execute nearer the time."

Houston is full of praise for Pat Fenlon's on-form Hibees side who have picked up considerably since the opening day defeat.

Houston said: "Hibs are in really decent form.

"They got a draw at Parkhead earlier in the season and because of that you're confidence naturally grows from there.

"They've had some other good results since then so it's been one thing after another for them.

"I was at the Motherwell match me when they beat them 4-0 in the Friday night game and they certainly took their chances.

"We'll have to be at our best to win and we're under no illusions about how tough its going to be for us."

Source: PA