Hibernian V St Mirren at Easter Road Stadium : Match Preview

20 September 2013 06:01
Hibernian V St Mirren - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Nelson looking for home front

Michael Nelson is looking for Hibernian's return to form to continue with their first home win of the season against St Mirren on Saturday.

The Easter Road side struggled at the start of the campaign, suffering a 9-0 aggregate defeat by Malmo in the Europa League qualifiers before Scottish Premiership losses to Motherwell and Edinburgh rivals Hearts.

Pat Fenlon's side have recovered to go on a four-game unbeaten run but the two wins in that sequence have come away from home to Kilmarnock and St Johnstone.

And with only one league win at Easter Road this year - against Dundee in May - Nelson believes it is time the Hibees' diehards are rewarded for their loyalty.

The Hibs defender, 33, said: "We don't mind where we pick our wins up but it is massively important that we start picking wins up at home for the fans who buy season tickets and come week in, week out.

"We are really focused in trying to turn Easter Road into an intimidating place for teams to come to.

"We don't set up any different away from home, we don't sit off and try to get them on the counter attack.

"Maybe other teams come here and do that so maybe that has something to do with it.

"If we can start the game positively and get an early goal against teams who do that, then their game plan goes out the window and hopefully we can go and win comfortably.

"But it's not a case of if we don't get a goal in the first 15 minutes then that's it, doom and gloom. You can win the game in 92nd or 93rd minute.

"It is about patience, you don't want to go out kamikaze from the off and go one down within 20 minutes.

"I'm sure the fans will stick by us and once we get that first home win, they become a little more patient and we get another win and it snowballs.

"So it us down to us to get the three points which will relax everyone a bit more."

Fenlon is hoping the further confidence taken from last week's win at St Johnstone, where they came from behind to win 2-1, will help get three points against the struggling Buddies.

He said: "You can see the confidence coming back into the players and training has been good this week but we need to back that up.

"It is important on the back of winning away. If we can add the home form to the away form it becomes really good."

Ryan McGivern returns to the Hibernian side for the clash against St Mirren after a knee injury but midfielder Owain Tudur Jones hurt his groin in training and will be out for a couple of weeks.

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon, who boasts a fully-fit squad, believes Hibernian counterpart Fenlon is a prime example of how quickly fortunes can change in football as he bids to guide his side to their first win of the season at the weekend.

The Buddies have endured a disappointing start to the Scottish Premiership campaign and last week's 1-0 defeat to Motherwell means they have taken just one point from five games.

Hibs also struggled at the outset before hauling themselves to seventh spot as they prepare to host Saints on Saturday.

Lennon said: "There was a lot of attention on Pat Fenlon's credentials at the beginning of the season.

"There was a lot written about how it was the worst two results in their history, the 5-1 in the cup final and the 9-0 on aggregate (against Malmo).

"But Pat's been strong, he's put one or two results together for them to climb up the table and that's great management."

Lennon - who clinched the club's first silverware in 25 years when St Mirren won the League Cup last season - has found himself under pressure.

But he added: "I certainly believe that I'm the man to take this club forward or I wouldn't be here.

"If the time comes that they decide to move Danny Lennon on, then what I would ask is, what do they expect from their new manager?"

Source: PA

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