Stephen Robinson praised on-loan Celtic midfielder Kwon Hyeok-kyu for his part in St Mirren’s biggest away victory over Hibernian since 1985.
The Buddies cruised to a convincing 3-0 cinch Premiership victory at Easter Road, with first-half goals from Alex Gogic, Greg Kiltie and Mikael Mandron consigning the meek Hibs to a fourth defeat in six league matches.
Midfielder Kwon, ably assisted by Caolon Boyd-Munce in the centre of midfield, helped set the tone for an excellent away performance.
The 22-year-old South Korean joined Saints from Celtic last month after failing to make an appearance for the Hoops since his £1million transfer from Busan IPark last summer and manager Robinson has been impressed with the way he has settled in Paisley.
“Kwon was very good,” he said. “You don’t pay £1m for players and they don’t have quality.
“It’s about game time now for him. He has hit the ground running and I feel he’ll get better.
“That was his best performance so far, he understands what we wants and he gives us real composure on the ball. But as his fitness levels increase, I think he’ll get better.
“We made a decision to go with three out-and-out defenders (in a 3-4-3 formation) in Alex Gogic, Marcus Fraser and James Bolton, so you need your quality on the ball to come from your two midfielders (Kwon and Boyd-Munce).
“I thought they dominated the game. The two of them are technically gifted but I thought they also did the other side of the game very well.
“They were the catalyst for everything we did. They were a massive part of that team performance.
“We should have won by more, I don’t think Zach Hemming had a save to make. And that’s real credit to the players because Hibs are a good side.”
Hibs supporters were furious with their team’s performance and manager Nick Montgomery admitted they were “outfought” and “got exactly what we deserved”.
The Easter Road boss, who gave game time to five of his seven January signings on Saturday, is hoping to have Australia pair Martin Boyle and Lewis Miller back for Wednesday’s visit from Celtic after the Socceroos were eliminated from the Asian Cup on Friday.
Rocky Bushiri, however, is set to remain unavailable as DR Congo face Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals on Wednesday.
“We’re hoping Lewis Miller and Martin Boyle will come back but Rocky is still away,” said Montgomery.
“Without bringing (on-loan Sunderland defender) Nectar Trantis in we’d have only had one centre-back in Will Fish so it was a big ask starting Trantis.
“He needs a little bit of a game time. I’m not sure if they (Miller and Boyle) will be back for the game, hopefully they’ll be back in the next couple of days.”
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