Hibs playmaker pays tribute to attacking trio as stats highlights their importance

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2003

Joe Newell has paid tribute to Hibernian’s intimidating attacking triumvirate, insisting that Kevin Nisbet, Martin Boyle and Christian Doidge will be crucial to their third place and Scottish Cup aspirations.

Nisbet and Boyle were both on target in Wednesday’s 2-1 Premiership victory over Livingston – taking their tallies for the campaign to 17 and 15 respectively – as Jack Ross’ side moved six points clear of fourth place Aberdeen.

Incredibly, all of the team’s last 13 goals have been shared out among the trio, while they have found the net a combined 43 times this term.

Joe Newell | Hibs news
Newell has lavished praise on the attacking trio
(Pic: Hibs TV)

An exciting end to the season sees Hibs host Motherwell in tomorrow’s Scottish Cup quarter-final tie before they turn to their attention to their final three league games.

Midfielder Newell knows that Hibs’ hopes of ending the campaign on a high will likely be determined by the output from the forwards.

He said: “They are all in good form and we are lucky to have them. “When they are in form like this you keep giving them the ball and let them get on with it. They are all having a brilliant season.

“All three bring different qualities. Obviously, you have Boyle’s pace and Nisbet can do a bit of everything and his link-up play is very good. 

“Christian has obviously got the aerial threat which means we can mix it up in our approach. We are very lucky to have them.

“It’s good timing for us that they are all in their stride because it’s a crucial stage of the season. 

“It’s a case of giving them the ball as much as possible.”

Hibs have been better on the road this season than at Easter Road, and even fell to a 2-0 loss to Motherwell in Leith two months ago.

Former Rotherham player Newell, however, believes Hibs are hitting form at the right time with four wins from their last six outings.

He added: “Motherwell have given us problems. They beat us here a few weeks ago so we know what they are about, and the cup is a big priority to us.

“Their front three caused us a lot of problems, they had pace and power and were quite direct. 

“We’ll analyse them and look at how we can deal with them.

“But the way we are playing at the moment, we are in good form so we will go into it with confidence.

“Our home form has been a bit dodgy. It’s a cup game though and it’s winner takes all. At this stage of the season it’s only results that matter anyway.”

Newell also believes the spring weather and an improved Easter Road surface could also aid Hibs.

He added: “It is a lot better and that made a big difference especially in the first half against Livingston because we were able to zip it around. 

“I think all the pitches have struggled this season to be fair.

“We feel a bit bad moaning about it because it’s the same for both teams. But a good pitch suits us because we like to move it.”