Thursday, February 22, 2024
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Hibs boss hails striker after he earns man of the match award in derby

HIBS manager Lee Johnson insists there is more to come from Elie Youan after the forward shone in Sunday’s Edinburgh derby.

Youan, who is on loan from Swiss side St Gallen, was named by Hibs as their sponsor’s man of the match for a lively display that included setting returning hero Martin Boyle for a last-gasp equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Hearts.

The 23-year-old’s pace was a threat throughout the game in what was only his second appearance for the Leith outfit.

And even though the Frenchman has been used on the flank during his career, Johnson insists he regards Youan as an out and out striker.

Hibs manager Lee Johnson.
Johnson handed Youan his second appearance of the season against Hearts on Sunday. (Photo by Hibs TV)

Johnson, who was unable to play Youan in the ill-fated Premier Sports Cup group campaign due to a delay in obtaining a work permit for the player, said: “I think he has more in him, I really do. 

“The lads need to understand how quick he is.

“There was a good opportunity in the first half when Ewan Henderson had drawn the fullback deeper to slide him in and Joe Newell had one where he needed a better trajectory and he was in. 

“He has proper pace, pure speed and agility and I think managers have always moved him wide but I’m going to persist in him playing in that number nine and develop him and teach him what he needs. 

“We have those flash moments in our team because of the pace of some players. (Elias) Melkersen is quick and agile, Elie Yohan, Boyle, (Jair) Tavares – they are all quick and agile and that presents a threat and means the footballers can start dominating games a bit more.”

Johnson, meanwhile, joked that Hibs’ penchant for late drama in their first two opening Premiership matches is not good for his health.

Hibs also scored a stoppage-time winner against ten-man St Johnstone on the opening day of the season in Perth, while Boyle’s leveller in the 95th minute on Sunday was effectively the last kick of the game.

Johnson, whose side travel to Livingston this Saturday, added: “It’s not doing my heart strings any good, I know that. 

“I would prefer to be one or two up or score a bit earlier in the game.

“It is an important factor in a successful team to be able to go to the end and show that will and character when everybody is tired and on their last legs.

“So it was nice and I’m just pleased that everybody went home with a vibe. 

“You want to build a confidence, a belief, and credit with the fans, and in that final 30 seconds that vibe went from a bad one to an unbelievable one.

“Hopefully we can build on that and create some momentum. The fans were brilliant.”

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