'Hibees in for great season if Montgomery can solve defensive issues'

Matty Fairnie, Longbangers podcast

It was almost a dream debut for Hibs’ new head coach Nick Montgomery as he watched his side surge into a deserved two-goal lead at Rugby Park.

However, as has so often been the case with Hibs this season, lapses in concentration in a leaky defence saw three points drop to one as Hibs were hauled back by their hosts.

There was a lot to like from Hibs’ performance, particularly in a first half where the team played with an intensity and purpose that hasn’t been evident too often in recent times. Martin Boyle almost opened the scoring just seconds into the game and that set the tone, with a Will Dennis own goal giving the Hibs a lead that could have been more by the break.

Dylan Vente extended the lead in the second half after neat play from Adam Le Fondre and Elie Youan, only for Hibs to concede immediately afterwards as the defence was caught napping.

From that point on, you would have put your house on the hosts getting a second goal, and it duly came following slack play by Rocky Bushiri to concede the corner from which Killie would draw level.

There were few fans in the large travelling support who would have been surprised at the collapse. This side has shown it has the potential to self-destruct at any given time but the main takeaway would be the positive signs from a first-half performance that reflected everything Montgomery had promised in the lead-up to the game.

The new gaffer has now seen up close where the issues lie in the team, and his priority this week will be to bring a resoluteness to a backline that has been far too generous this season.

If Montgomery can solve this problem, then the Hibees are in for a great season.