Ambrose wants improved defensive play from Hibernian

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Having conceded the first goal in their last five games, the Nigeria international is unhappy and has urged his teammates to do more defensively

Efe Ambrose is worried about Hibernian conceding their first goal in the Scottish Premier League this season and has charged his teammates for improved defensive play.

Neil Lennon’s men are placed sixth in the Scottish topflight league with two wins in five league games following their 1-1 stalemate against St Johnstone on Saturday.

Ambrose praised the Hibs mental strength but wants the team to do more defensively and avoid conceding first goals in their games.

“We don’t want to concede the first goal because if your mentality is not strong, it can shatter your gameplan and cause you to panic – it can be difficult,” Ambrose told Edinburgh Evening News.

“But this team has good mental strength. The gaffer always tells us that if we concede a goal, the most important thing is how we bounce back from it. You can fall behind without doing much wrong. An opponent can shoot from 30 yards and it can take a deflection and go in, so we have to be prepared mentally for the possibility of falling behind.”

“We are always mindful of this, so if we do fall behind, we know that the next step is to bounce back and make sure we score a goal. No matter what happens to us in a game, we know we have to keep playing to the end. That is the mentality we have. It is not good to concede first, though, so we need to do better defensively as well.”

The 28-year-old rued his side’s missed chances for their inability to pick up maximum points against St Johnstone at the McDiarmid Park despite dominating possession and has tasked the forwards to be more clinical in front of goal and score more goals when they welcome Motherwell to the Easter Road Stadium on Saturday.

“We did enough to win the game on Saturday in terms of the chances we created and the tempo we played at,” the former Celtic defender continued.

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“The disappointing thing was that we didn’t convert the chances but you can see there is a positivity in the team, with the character and mentality. After being a goal down, we stood up, fought to pull a goal back and then deserved to win.

“It was very similar to the Dundee game. We fell behind, came back and then had a lot of chances. The gaffer has been telling us we need to utilise our chances and be ruthless. You can concede goals but the most important thing is that you score goals. We could easily have scored four goals on Saturday and we would have won 4-1, but one goal is not good enough for the amount of chances we had.

“The gaffer was pleased with the performance but he was not pleased with the outcome. We need to do better up front. We need to look at our mistakes and work on them for the next game against Motherwell.”