IT all seems to be falling into place for Hibernian. On the back of seeing off Kilmarnock on the opening day of the season, they were unrelentingly clinical away to a Livingston side with an established reputation for giving very little away at the back, especially at home.

Hibs, though, mercilessly swept them aside. The arrival of Alex Gogic from Hamilton Accies has provided them with a formidable shield in front of the defence and allowed the creative players to flourish in front of him.

On Saturday manager Jack Ross unleashed Daryl Horgan and Martin Boyle down either flank and paired Kevin Nisbet and Christian Doidge through the middle. Horgan chipped in with two assists, Doidge got his first goal of the season, while Nisbet, recently signed from Dunfermline Athletic, grabbed the limelight with a hat-trick.

Key to that success, though, was the balance provided by the players behind them.

“What we’d done all week in training was about getting crosses in the box,” revealed Doidge. “And we did it to a tee  – four goals from four crosses, effectively.

“That speaks volumes and shows that the lads are taking on board what the gaffer wants from us. When you’ve got the pace of Boyle and Horgan, sometimes you don’t even need to see them – you just put it into space and know they’ll win the race.

“Gogic brings something we’ve been missing. He’s a hard man, isn’t he? A lovely guy off the pitch but he’s what we need. He’s not looking to go forward and create chances. He’s there to help the defenders out and he’s been a massive help.”

Strikers can be notoriously self-centred but Doidge had nothing but warm words for Nisbet following his scene-stealing achievements.

“I think we performed well together and I’m really happy for Kevin to get that hat-trick. He’d been doing that kind of thing all week in training, looking really sharp. It’s a fantastic achievement at any level, getting a hat-trick, and I’m so pleased for him.

“With Martin getting a couple of goals last week, we’ve got plenty of threats – and there are even more goals in the team, I think.

“‘Joe [Newell] scores a lot of goals in training and Daryl is a real threat as well. I think we looked good against Livingston, even when we were up against it, with Boyle’s pace – so we probably could have scored a lot more.”

While Hibs made the short trip back to Edinburgh brimming with confidence, the final whistle sparked a period of introspection within the Livingston camp whose only bright spot came courtesy of a second-half Lyndon Dykes penalty.

A defence that for years has been notoriously parsimonious when it comes to gifting goals has suddenly started leaking like a sieve and Jon Guthrie acknowledged they would need to sort it out.

“We were way off it from the first minute to the end, all over the pitch,” said the centre half. “Especially defensively. Last year we prided ourselves on making it tough for teams and that was the absolute opposite. We need to put it right as soon as possible because that's not good enough.

“The goals were way too easy but performance-wise as well it wasn't good enough. To put your finger on one thing, it's probably a couple of things joined together that make a bad performance like that. I'm really disappointed.

“Since my time here, that was the worst we've played. We've started the season badly but luckily there's a game on Wednesday to put things right. We've had words in there about that."