The likes of Christian Doidge and Scott Allan will grab the headlines from Jack Ross’ first two games in charge of Hibs, but Melker Hallberg deserves some credit too.
After taking some time to get up to full match fitness following his Hibs arrival in the summer, the Swedish midfielder is starting to flourish in Leith. His two performances under Ross have been particularly good.
It’s been a great start under the new manager for the club as a whole, beating Motherwell 3-1 then St Mirren 2-1. A win against Kilmarnock on Saturday will put them joint-fifth.
Hallberg will look to build on his impressive form.
A lot has been said about Paul Heckingbottom’s decision to not replace Marvin Bartley or Mark Milligan during the summer. Instead of opting for a CDM, he wanted to play with a deep lying playmaker.
It wasn’t working, but in recent weeks, Hallberg is showing he can be the man to fill that CDM void. He didn’t have to a pre-season to work with and that has held him back, but now the Swede looks great.
In both games he has screened the ball excellently in front of the back four. It’s a no-nonsense approach that the Hibees midfield has been crying out for.
Hallberg can win the ball well in his own half and begin to move it up the park too. His work is allowing the likes of Allan to create more for Doidge and Florian Kamberi as he isn’t having to worry too much about defensive duties.
Three of his four 90 minute starts have came this month, showing that the 24-year-old is now fully fit. He looks set to become a key player for Ross as Hibs undergo a renaissance under the new manager.