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OFF AND GUNNIN' Maybury tips Hibs hitmen to start banging in the goals after they break duck at Saints.

Byline: Scott McDermott

ALAN MAYBURY knew it was only a matter of time before Hibs'new strikeforce of Paul Heffernan and James Collins got off the mark.

And the Easter Road defender is convinced the Irish duo will now kick on to clock up more goals for the club.

Maybury made his playing comeback last Saturday as Pat Fenlon's troops beat St Johnstone to seal a second away win on the spin - with both Heffernan and Collins scoring their first goals for Hibs.

He was delighted the pair of them got that monkey off their backs and is certain they can now form a potent partnership in attack.

Former Swindon Town frontman Collins, 22, has taken time to settle at Hibs after arriving in the summer while Heffernan, 31, was snared from Kilmarnock on the last day of the transfer window.

Maybury believes, now they've opened their accounts for the club, they will go on to strike up a good rapport in attack and start hitting the back of the net on a regular basis.

The Irishman told Edinburgh Now: "The two new boys up front are both quality players and after getting off the mark on Saturday I expect big things from them now.

"James is still young and he had a great season with Swindon last year. But this is a new league for him, a new environment, so it was always going to take him a bit of time to settle in.

"The goal against St Johnstone will have done him the world of good because he's been excellent in training. James is a handful for any defence because he's strong and mobile as well.

"We're convinced he will do an excellent job for us.

"Paul is a tried-and-tested striker in this league, you know what you're going to get from him. He holds the ball up well, links the play and you always know he'll get goals.

"It'll take him a bit of time to settle in at a new club as well but he already knows a few lads in the dressing-room and that goal at McDiarmid Park will have just lifted his confidence a bit."

Maybury insists Collins and Heffernan can now play more freely with their first Hibs goals under their belts - and is adamant they'll be supplied with plenty of chances this season at Easter Road.

The 35-year-old full-back, who is also a coach at East Mains, revealed he is over the moon with the strength and depth gaffer Fenlon now has in his squad.

He feels that when everyone is firing and 100 per cent fit, the Hibees d 10 100 pe pe p r ce cent ntfifit, t, the heHib ibee ees will boast one of the strongest squads in the Premiership.

He said: "The win and the goals at St Johnstone on Saturday will have given both James and Paul a boost and hopefully, as a partnership, they can really kick on now.

"The lads themselves probably put a bit of pressure on themselves.

"They know they are here to score goals and now they've got their first, they can maybe go and play with a bit more freedom now.

"They don't have to worry about when that first goal will come, they can just go and play now and do what they do naturally.

"There is competition everywhere in the team this season, including in forward areas, so that will just lift the standard of everyone.

"The manager has great options in the middle of the park to supply them now as well - but he has that all over the pitch.

"We now have four centrehalves, different full-backs, loads of ha halv lves es, diffe ffere rent nt ful ull-l ba back cks, loa oads dsof midfielders who are all fighting for a place - and a group of youngsters coming through who are really pushing for their chance as well.

"There are a lot of good players here and when everyone is fit it's a really strong squad.

"The side we have at our disposal now is totally different to the one that finished last season.

"There have been so many changes over the summer but we'll need all of the new players if we want to have a good campaign."

Maybury is relishing his coaching duties and is keen to get involved in that side of the game when he calls time on his playing days.

But after starring against Saints in Perth last weekend, the man with 10 caps for the Republic of Ireland revealed he's not ready to hang up the boots just yet.

He's enjoying every second under Fenlon and Jimmy Nicholl and - despite a desire to get into management one day - is ready to play whenever called upon.

Maybury said: "My role here is more of a coaching one but I'm here mo more reof a co coac achi hing ngone nebut ut I'm herere whenever the manager needs me. I enjoyed playing on Saturday and I'm fit and available.

"But there will be no knocking on his door - I know my role is to help the young lads develop. I have to keep myself right, however, in case I'm needed, like last Saturday.

"I still love playing but I'm enjoying the other side of it now as well. Wherever I can fit in and do a job, that's fine by me.

"I want to get into management eventually. This is a great first step for me because I can still play and train with the lads, which keeps me involved every day.

"But I now see how the coaching side works. Can I do it? Can I spot things? I'm learning about how days are structured as a coach and I'm taking in loads of information.

"I ask a lot of questions and the manager and Jimmy have been brilliant with me. They've given me a bit of responsibility, which is great.

"I'm writing everything down and, further down the line, I would certainly like to manage. I just want to stay in the game."

to sta tay in the he gam ame."

There are a lot of good players here and when everyone is fit it's a really strong squad. The side we have is totally different to the one that finished last season


Ready when needed Maybury, left, has told his boss he's still keen to play

We've struck goals Collins, left, is hailed by Heffernan after firing Hibs 2-1 up in the win over Saints
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 18, 2013
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