Lee Johnson hopes two-week break can ease Hibs’ injury concerns

Hibs beat St Mirren 1-0 in Paisley on Saturday.

Lee Johnson hopes two-week break can ease Hibs’ injury concerns SNS Group

Lee Johnson hopes a fortnight’s break will allow many of Hibernian’s injured players to make a full recovery.

The Easter Road side were without striker Kevin Nisbet for the 1-0 win at St Mirren, settled by Elie Youan’s second-half strike.

They then lost Harry McKirdy and Joe Newell during the match after both sustained knocks.

With Hibs already out of the Scottish Cup, they now do not play again until Kilmarnock are the visitors on February 18.

And Johnson hopes the break will serve his injured players well, saying: “The biggest thing (about having a fortnight’s break) is getting the injured players back fit.

“They’ve been tough, physical games. You don’t want the rest in one sense because you want games, but given it’s a cup week and no-one can advance on us, then we take the rest and get players like Jake Doyle-Hayes back and firing.

“Joe Newell seems a little bit better than Harry McKirdy does. It’s difficult to say (on McKirdy) in those first 48 hours but he’s rocked his ankle and we’ll need to make sure there’s no weight-bearing on it and then we’ll get it scanned in the next 48 hours.”

Asked if Nisbet could return from a hamstring injury for the next match, Johnson added: “I think that’s possible. That will depend on exactly how he feels and we’ll do all the testing required to make sure he comes back 100 per cent.”

Johnson also praised new recruit Matthew Hoppe after a successful debut.

He added: “He’s had one-and-a-half day’s training so I thought he did well. He played three different positions as I had to flick it about depending on what was going on in the game.

“He’s not a target man, he makes good little runs. Although his size makes him look like a target man, the boys have got to get it into their mind to slide it down for his intricate runs. He worked really hard and deserved the win.”

St Mirren’s defeat was their first at home since July and manager Stephen Robinson felt the surface and the conditions had not helped.

He said: “The pitch was really bobbly and with the wind and rain swirling about you could see the players were doing their best to get it down and play and the ball was bouncing off them.

“When it’s bouncing off good players you know it’s having a big effect. It was just one of those days where it didn’t go for us.”

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