IF anyone was concerned that Hibs may be the victims of another “Scottish team in surprise European defeat” shocker, they need not have worried, with the Edinburgh side showing no signs of early season rust in their first competitive outing of the season.

The build-up to Hibs’ Europa League qualifier against NSI Runavik was dominated by the transfer speculation surrounding John McGinn and the midfielder’s omission from the squad for last night’s tie will certainly have caused a few raised eyebrows in the Easter Road.

However, the squad who were selected wasted no time in making the point that they are well capable of recording comfortable wins even with their star player missing, dominating NSI from beginning to end.

Hibs’ last couple of European outings have not been happy ones, being on the wrong end of a record-breaking 9-0 aggregate defeat to Malmo in 2013 before losing out on penalties to Brondby two years ago.

Easter Road may not have been quite full for the Edinburgh side’s first competitive match of the season but the 14,126 who did turn out to watch them play the Faroese side were in fine voice, encouraged in no small part by the physical, bordering on thuggish, tactics deployed by their opponents.

If the Hibs’ players first foray into Europe for two years caused any feelings of apprehension within the dressing room, they did not show even a hint of it, with the Edinburgh side on top from kick-off and taking only three minutes to take the lead victory courtesy of a penalty kick from Florian Kamberi on their way to a comfortable 6-1 victory.

Hibs manager Neil Lennon declared himself content with his side’s comfortable win and will look for more of the same in the second leg on Thursday.

“It was very professional and is a great advantage to take into the second leg, the Hibs manager said of his team’s win.

“There was a lot of attacking intent out there and okay, the opposition may not be of the quality we’re used to but it was a job that had to be done and we did it very well.

“That gives us another week to prepare and then, hopefully, prepare for the second round.

“We’ve got to see the tie through now but we’re confident we can do that.”

And Lennon declared himself delighted with Hibs’ hat trick hero Kamberi.

“He’s got off to a great start," he said.

“His second goal pleased me when he made the near-post run and his third was a good finish. He can be well-pleased with his night’s work and as a striker, to score a hat trick at any level, it gets him off to a good start in a competitive game.”

NSI have, in the past decade, recorded first-leg victories over Linfield and Dinamo Tbilisi but they showed few signs of that form last night.

The Faroese side began as they meant to go on, with Kamberi bundled over in the box in the first few minutes before getting up to convert the spot kick himself to put Hibs on their way to an easy win.

Kamberi doubled the home side’s lead and got his second of the game after 21 minutes by knocking the ball into the back of the net from a Martin Boyle cross from the right, where Hibs were running rings around the visitors.

Eight minutes later, Oli Shaw scored Hibs’ third before NSI were finally punished for their kamikaze tackles with Einar Trondargjogv shown a red card for a rash challenge.

Stevie Mallan scored his first goal for Hibs by adding a fourth just before half-time and by then, Lennon’s side knew they were home and dry.

They started the second half as they had the first, with Kamberi completing his hat-trick within a few minutes of kick-off becoming the first Hibs player to score a hat-trick in Europe since Alan Gordon against Hadjuk Split in 1973. A lapse in concentration allowed NSI to get on the scoresheet before Mallan got his second from a curling free kick from 25 yards out. And so with Hibs taking a five goal cushion to Runavik next week, anything other than a safe passage to the second qualifying round would be a seismic upset.