Lewis Stevenson admits he has been a “follower” throughout his career but the stand-in Hibernian captain is happy to see his leadership role bear fruit.
Stevenson has been wearing the armband in the absence of the injured Paul Hanlon and manager Shaun Maloney could not have been happier with his contribution as part of the cinch Premiership’s youngest starting XI in recent weeks.
The 34-year-old is one of Scottish football’s most unassuming characters but Maloney has encouraged him to let his actions speak for themselves.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s visit of cinch Premiership leaders Celtic, Stevenson said: “I am not usually one for taking responsibility. My whole career I have been a follower. He (Maloney) told me not to change my personality just do what I do and lead on the pitch.
“People lead in different ways. I am never going to be a screamer and shouter. It seems to be going all right, the boys seem to be taking to it just now as it is but I’m sure other boys will be back soon.
“I have tried to (lead by example). I am sure I have not been 100 per cent clean cut in the past but, look, I should know the game by now. I try to do things that the manager says and take that on to the pitch and see where it takes us.”
Stevenson has been vital for Maloney in filling a number of positions on the field as well as the captain’s role – he has played midfield, left-back and centre-back in recent weeks.
“We have got a lot of injury problems just now so I’m sure I wouldn’t be playing in all these positions if everybody was fit,” Stevenson said.
“But I am enjoying being back playing and playing in different formations keeps you fresh. I am still learning things even at this age.”
Maloney has instilled a more possession-based game, to the extent that Hibs dominated the ball on their recent trip to Celtic Park.
Results have been harder to come by for the new boss after winning his initial two matches in charge. But Hibs built on an impressive Scottish Cup victory over Arbroath by recording their first league win of 2022 against Ross County last weekend.
“A few things have changed tactically and just the way we have been playing, sometimes these things take a bit of time,” Stevenson said.
“I think performances while we were getting beat were actually decent. It was just a few small things that were letting us down, defensive lapses and not taking chances.
“It was strange, against Ross County we probably didn’t play as well as we had been but managed to get a win. That’s Scottish football for you.
“It’s been a happier camp in the last few weeks and hopefully we can kick on again.
“It’s hard because it can almost snowball out of control at times when you are not getting results. You think that win is never going to come.
“We are glad we got it and now we need to focus and kick on and keep those results coming.”