Hibernian V St Johnstone at Easter Road Stadium : Match Preview

10 February 2013 03:01
Hibernian V St Johnstone - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Maybury accepts his role

Hibernian defender Alan Maybury admits he has now adjusted to the fact he might not start every game as he sees the bigger picture.

The 34-year-old initially found it frustrating when he felt he was becoming a stand-in for others at St Johnstone but he now realises Hibs boss Pat Fenlon has to pick what he feels is the best team available.

Maybury has been an integral part of the Hibs team since signing just before the start of the season, making 18 starts and four substitute appearances.

But if Tim Clancy recovers from a hamstring problem before Monday night's Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash against St Johnstone, Maybury appreciates he might lose his place despite helping the team to a William Hill Scottish Cup win over Aberdeen last weekend.

The Irishman said: "I understand there are going to be stages where I am in and out of the team.

"I knew that before I came here so it's just about making sure you are doing the right things in training so that, when you come in, you grasp that opportunity and help the team out.

"When it first happened in the last couple of years, it was frustrating and you are banging down the manager's door.

"But I think I understand the role now, I'm quite comfortable with it and I accept that I'll not play every week.

"Before I came here I was used more to fill in a hole. It was right-back, left-back and 'have you ever played in midfield?' sort of thing. Then 'can you play centre-back?' And I would stand on my tiptoes and say 'yes, of course'.

"There is no excuse with being in and out of the team. Obviously you still get frustrated if you have played well and think you deserve to be in.

"But I understand when he (Fenlon) picks a team he is picking the best team that will hopefully win the game. So I have adjusted to it over the last couple of years."

Hibs are looking for their third win over St Johnstone this season but they are only one point ahead of the Perth side in the SPL and Maybury expects a tight affair against his former club.

"The two times we have played them already, they can probably say they feel a bit aggrieved we have won them both," he said.

"There was nothing in the games but somehow we have managed to come out on top both times.

"We know it's going to be tight and it could be about who gets the first goal or takes their chance."

Hibs boss Fenlon expects Ryan McGivern to be fit after the defender pulled out of the Northern Ireland squad to face Malta in a World Cup qualifier this week with a hamstring problem.

And the extra two-day wait for the game could benefit midfielder Jorge Carlos, who was a late sub as Honduras beat the USA on Wednesday in a World Cup tie.

Fenlon also confirmed striker Leigh Griffiths would be in the squad. The 22-year-old was charged under the Communications Act following a police investigation into an alleged racist tweet.

St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas highlighted the value of Hibernian striker Griffiths ahead of the trip to Easter Road.

The Northern Irishman has regularly lamented a lack of cutting edge in his side this season, most recently in last week's William Hill Scottish Cup fifth-round exit to St Mirren in Paisley.

Lomas is aware the often controversial Griffiths knows his way to goal with 15 for the season so far and is likely to be the biggest threat to the Perth men.

He said: "Hibs have shown a big improvement from last season, when defensively they were poor, especially from free-kicks and corners.

"Pat has brought in some good players like James McPake, Paul Hanlon and Ryan McGivern whom I know all about,

"They also have Scott Robertson and the guy from Barnsley (Matt Done) and David Wotherspoon has been there for a while so they have some decent players and they have Griffiths up front.

"He is a goalscorer, a dogged and determined attacker and when a player like him is playing for you you always have a chance."

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 0 1 0 0 1
Panama 0 1 0 0 1
Tunisa 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0
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