Andy Walker
Football Expert & Columnist

Terry Butcher: England legend to shake up Hibs, says Andy Walker

Butcher: in the dugout for Hibs this weekend.

Saturday's live offering of Scottish Premiership football should be an intriguing one when St Mirren entertain a Hibernian side who have recently appointed former England captain Terry Butcher as manager to replace Pat Fenlon.

Given what he and assistant Maurice Malpas achieved at Inverness Caledonian Thistle over the last few seasons, Butcher deserves this opportunity at a club with tremendous potential.

I played for Hibs for a short time under Jim Duffy and Alex McLeish and thoroughly enjoyed my brief spell there; the Edinburgh rivalry with Hearts is something you can feed off every week and it's fair to say Hibs have been in the doldrums for too long.

"Too many Hibs players have been unable to handle the type of pressure associated with big city rivalry and it's the main reason Hibs have underachieved for years."

Andy Walker

This is a club that needs a huge shake-up to get shot of the general malaise that has been evident there for some time.

Too many Hibs players have been unable to handle the type of pressure associated with big-city rivalry and it's the main reason Hibs have underachieved for years.

The attraction of recruiting Butcher was an obvious one.

When you see the results he has achieved with both Motherwell and Inverness Caley Thistle on very modest resources, the chances are he'll be able to improve a club with wonderful training facilities, a huge fan base and, of course, a better budget for players.

Hibs, in my view, have for too long lacked the quality required to improve their position. The goals of Leigh Griffiths last season glossed over a multitude of sins and without him in the side this season, there has rarely been a goal threat.

Threatening

Butcher, of course, saw this for himself when he watched from the stand as his former Caley Thistle players dismantled a poor side. It was a much more comfortable victory than the 2-0 scoreline suggested.

They won't find it easy against a rejuvenated St Mirren side. Four wins from their last five games has seen Danny Lennon's men shoot away from the foot of the table and possibly have their sights set on threatening the teams in the top six.

To his credit, Lennon has come through a difficult period when his team couldn't buy a win and there was growing speculation that his time was up. I imagine he's learned a lot about himself and his players from that experience and it will undoubtedly help him become a stronger manager.

I've seen them play in their last two games away at Partick Thistle and at home to Ross County. Against Thistle they were ruthless in their finishing and had the game's most influential player.

Steven Thomson has been in excellent form for St Mirren and I'm sure even he felt he was worthy of a call up to the national side when he learned that Kris Boyd had been given the late nod.

Thomson is in tremendous form and even though he didn't score against Ross County, he certainly makes others tick.

He leads the line well, he's developed a terrific understanding with Paul McGowan and of course he has the physique to cause havoc in the attacking third and add to the defensive qualities St Mirren need when under pressure.

I expect both teams to score in this one, I just wonder how quickly the Hibs players will take to the guidance of a new management team.

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