sport

Maybury accepts his role

Hibernian defender Alan Maybury admits he sees the bigger picture after accepting the fact that he might not start every game.

The 34-year-old initially found it frustrating when he felt he was becoming a stand-in for others at St Johnstone but he now realises Hibs boss Pat Fenlon has to pick what he feels is the best team available.

Maybury has been an integral part of the Hibs team since signing just before the start of the season, making 18 starts and four substitute appearances.

But if Tim Clancy recovers from a hamstring problem before Monday night's Premier League clash against St Johnstone, Maybury appreciates he might lose his place despite helping the team to a Scottish Cup win over Aberdeen last weekend.

The Irishman said: "I understand there are going to be stages where I am in and out of the team.

"I knew that before I came here so it's just about making sure you are doing the right things in training so that, when you come in, you grasp that opportunity and help the team out.

"When it first happened in the last couple of years, it was frustrating and you are banging down the manager's door.

"But I think I understand the role now, I'm quite comfortable with it and I accept that I'll not play every week.

"Before I came here I was used more to fill in a hole. It was right-back, left-back and 'have you ever played in midfield?' sort of thing. Then 'can you play centre-back?' And I would stand on my tiptoes and say 'yes, of course'.

"There is no excuse with being in and out of the team. Obviously you still get frustrated if you have played well and think you deserve to be in.

"But I understand when he (Fenlon) picks a team he is picking the best team that will hopefully win the game. So I have adjusted to it over the last couple of years."

Maybury has not lost any of his enthusiasm for the game in the latter years of his playing career. In fact, the opposite is the case as he is throwing himself into the coaching side of the game.

"I love training," the former Hearts and Leicester player said. "I don't know anything different. I still get nervous before games. It's all I know, it's all I want to do.

"I am doing my coaching badges and am becoming obsessed with that side of it. I am watching all sorts of bizarre clips and reading articles and just trying to look and listen and learn and see what I can pick up.

"I start my A licence in the summer and help out when I can with the under-20s here and I really enjoy that.

"I recently spent a couple of days down watching Cardiff play. I am becoming obsessed with it and asking lots of questions, but I want to play as long as I can because there's nothing quite like it.

"I knew a long time ago it was something I wanted to do. You think you have plenty of time but it creeps up on you.

"It helps a little bit with your game, how you can affect others rather than just thinking about your own game."

Hibs are looking for their third win over St Johnstone this season but they are only one point ahead of the Perth side in the SPL and Maybury expects a tight affair against his former club.

"The two times we have played them already, they can probably say they feel a bit aggrieved we have won them both," he said.

"There was nothing in the games but somehow we have managed to come out on top both times.

"We know it's going to be tight and it could be about who gets the first goal or takes their chance."