Stevie Mallan: Hibernian 'should be doing a lot better'

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Honest Lennon ideal for Hibs - Mallan

Hibernian "should be doing a lot better" and can still match last year's top-four Scottish Premiership finish, says midfielder Stevie Mallan.

The Leith outfit were second in the division after eight games but have slipped to eighth, 10 points off the top four, at the winter break.

They host League Two Elgin City in the Scottish Cup on 19 January, and Mallan says the cup is "definitely a target".

"We've got a team capable of winning the cup," he told BBC Scotland.

"And as a club we want to be in a top-four position. We know we are not that far off it. A couple of wins and we're back up there."

Hibs' drop off in form has coincided with a dip in Mallan's performances.

The midfielder scored nine goals in his first 16 games after arriving from Barnsley, but has not netted in his last 12 matches.

"I wanted to have a positive impact and at the start, I felt I did," he said. "Maybe the performances of late, I know I could have played a lot better. So that's what is good about having this time to reflect.

"I know where my standards should be and the standard the club should be and we know we should be doing a lot better."

Lennon 'would say anything to your face'

Mallan has shouldered much of the burden in a midfield shorn of John McGinn, Dylan McGeouch and Scott Allan, who all departed after helping Hibs to fourth on their first season back in the Premiership.

Head coach Neil Lennon is attempting more surgery to his squad this month, with defender Efe Ambrose departing and winger Martin Boyle possibly facing up to 12 weeks out with a knee injury.

Mallan believes Lennon's experience and honesty with players will help Hibs, currently on a winter break in Dubai, recover in the second half of the season.

"He is a tough character. He would say anything he felt to your face and that's what you want as a player," Mallan said.

"You want a manager who is going to be on your back, especially when the standards are so high.

"He is a man who will tell you when you've not done so well, maybe not in the prettiest of words, but if you have done well, you'll reap the benefits publicly as well."

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