Lee Johnson warns Hibernian ‘it’s half-time’ after first-leg win over Luzern

By Sports Desk August 10, 2023 306

Lee Johnson knows Hibernian have only done half a job after they earned a commanding two-goal advantage in their Europa Conference League tie against Luzern.

Joe Newell’s opener just 18 seconds into the second half was cancelled out by Ismajl Beka’s header.

But debutant Dylan Vente and Jordan Obita scored to put Hibs in a strong position heading into next Thursday’s second leg in Switzerland.

And Johnson, whose side opened their Premiership campaign with a 3-2 home defeat to St Mirren on Sunday, has told his players they have now set a standard they must reach in every game.

He said: “It’s half-time. I said in Andorra when we lost 2-1 (against Inter d’Escaldes in the previous round) that it was half-time and I’ll say that now when we’ve got a plus-two lead.

“I really like Luzern. They’re a real quality side – brilliant in terms of that education for the club, for myself, for the players.

“And I was really proud today, for the whole club. We took a bit of stick, and rightly so, for our first-half performance the other day (against St Mirren).

“But that’s what Hibs is about. The crowd were up – 13,000 felt like 25,000 – the boys were making big tackles, they had pressure on everywhere.

“But we’ve got to do that in every game. That’s a marker now for this group.

“I honestly think it’s nowhere near done, genuinely. I think they’re a really good side. They’ve got threats and quality everywhere.

“We’re extremely proud tonight but nothing is done in the tie.”

Johnson also hailed debutant Vente, whose work permit issues following his move from Roda JC in the Netherlands were resolved on the eve of the tie.

He added: “I’m delighted for Dylan. I was getting a bit of stick before the game about the team selection, and I was quite surprised. I thought it was quite a bold one.

“Dylan was excellent. Obviously he had a goal and an assist. But, for me, I thought it was more about his work-rate and how hard he worked.

“I thought him and Alfie (Adam Le Fondre) worked their socks off and they’re dangerous.”

Meanwhile, Luzern manager Mario Frick admits his side have a mountain to climb.

He said: “The second half started with a gift from our side when they scored the first goal and, of course, with the support of the fans it got difficult.

“But we were still in the game and we had our chances and the equaliser came pretty quickly.

“Then, it was 2-1 and again a gift from our side and it became a nightmare. It’s a difficult situation for the second leg now.

“Can we progress in the second leg? Not if we play like today. We have to get back to our real game to have a chance.

“It’s not impossible but it’s a very difficult situation.”

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Last modified on Thursday, 10 August 2023 17:27
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.