Hibernian head coach David Gray declared himself satisfied with his side's performance as they recorded a 1-0 victory over German side MSV Duisburg in the Netherlands on Wednesday afternoon.

A first-half goal from Josh Campbell was all that separated the two sides and as he had done on Saturday against Meadowbank, the Easter Road boss selected two different XIs, one for each half. Josef Bursik started in goal with a back four of Lewis Miller, Marvin Ekpiteta, Warren O'Hora, and Jordan Obita while Nathan Moriah-Welsh and Luke Amos started as the holding midfielders. Martin Boyle, Campbell, and Rudi Molotnikov completed the attacking trio behind centre-forward Dylan Vente.

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It was all change for the second period with Jojo Wollacott lining up in goals behind a back four of Rory Whittaker, Riley Harbottle, Rocky Bushiri, and Kanayo Megwa; Joe Newell and Nohan Kenneh sitting and Chris Cadden, Dylan Levitt, and Jair Tavares supporting Élie Youan, who made his first appearance in a Hibs shirt since April 13. 

Speaking afterwards, Gray stressed the friendly had been all about getting more minutes in the legs. 

"We’ve got another good 45 minutes into the legs - after another tough few days, that’s really pleasing," he said. 

“Especially in the first half, we worked a lot on how we want to be without the ball. You saw a lot of that. The intensity was really good, the effort from everyone was excellent. And we won the game with a clean sheet. It’s good to see intensity rewarded."

It was a chance for Gray to start his two new centre-backs together as well.

“We got opportunities for players to play together for the first time, and I’m pleased with the result and the way they performed. Marvin and Warren had never played together before. In the second half as well, Rocky Bushiri and Riley Harbottle hadn’t played together for a wee while, so there were things to work on with the boys."

Boyle made his first appearance of pre-season, having been granted extra time off after international duty and the 31-year-old was handed the armband for the first half.

“I thought he started really well. You could see his constant threat, his pace, his direct running. He had a little bit of extra responsibility today, as well, in leading the team out. That was great to see from him – and I think he responded well to that," Gray continued. 

“It’s something I’m going to keep pushing him for, to make sure he’s driving the standards every single day – and being the leader I believe he can be. Especially with how long he’s been at the club, and the contribution he’s made, I’m sure he’ll continue to do more."

Goalkeeper Josef Bursik made his second consecutive start and made his presence known.  

“Josef was vocal, and communication is the most important thing, for goalkeepers and defenders. Having a voice behind you really helps, as a defender," Gray explained. 

“Working together as a unit is important. Josef has really hit the ground running with the lads, he’s a confident boy, really good with the players – and I’m delighted with how that started. But the most important thing is nobody came out of the game injured."

Perhaps unusually, Cadden started the second half on the right-wing with Whittaker behind him, before the pair swapped, while Megwa, more often seen on the right, was tasked with playing left-back. But with a surplus of right-backs and gaps in the squad needing filled, it was a case of 'needs must' for Gray.

“You’ve always got the opportunity to try things in these games, but getting minutes in the legs was the most important thing today. Cadden has played there many times. We’ve got him, Lewis Miller, and Kanayo who could all play right-back. But we wanted to play everyone – and they’re all going into positions where they might find themselves in games. Maybe Kanayo was slightly out of position, having played the majority of the time at right-back or right-wingback. But an opportunity to play left-back was to get minutes in the legs."