Why Lee Johnson made five changes to Hibs team to face Livingston

Lee Johnson made five changes for the visit of Livingston. Picture: Simon Wootton / SNS Group
Lee Johnson made five changes for the visit of Livingston. Picture: Simon Wootton / SNS Group

The Easter Road boss brought in Rocky Bushiri, Allan Delferrière, Christian Doidge, Riley Harbottle, and Jimmy Jeggo with Josh Campbell, Paul Hanlon, Lewis Miller, Lewis Stevenson, and Dylan Vente all taking a seat on the bench. Speaking afterwards, Johnson explained why he had made so many changes.

"There was a lot of context. Paul Hanlon has been carrying a hip flexor problem for a bit; Lewis Stevenson has played 100 minutes more than anybody else. Jake Doyle-Hayes was in the starting XI on Friday and pulled out through injury.

"Dylan Vente I think has done extremely well but has been putting in such a physical shift defensively, without reward, that he’s struggling to keep the same levels every three days. Adam Le Fondre could have started; that’s one I could have potentially thought of but I wanted to give the wide men energy and get the extra man in the middle.

“We did get the switch of play right in the first half but didn’t have enough goalmouth action. Our midfielders could have got up a little bit, they were a bit deep. When you concede, it becomes difficult at any level, and I think ten of our first 15 actions didn’t go well. Whether that was giveaways, little refereeing decisions we didn’t get, break of the ball, Rocky Bushiri made a needless foul … tiny little things like that, that we need to build momentum.

"We’ve got lots to work on. I genuinely do apologise because I didn’t want to start like this. I was full of beans – I still am – going into the season and this has caught us out a little bit.”

Hibs are also sweating over the fitness of David Marshall, who was replaced by Max Boruc at the interval after taking a sore one in a challenge with Livingston midfielder Scott Pittman.

"Marsh got a whiplash injury after getting a whack to the chest, so his back and chest are painful,” Johnson added. “All of those little things are just not going for us at the moment.”