It’s not been the best end to the year for us Hibby’s. Seventeen game unbeaten run ended by Rangers on Monday, Fraser Fyvie given a two match ban for simulation and dropping to third in the league on goal difference. Not great and I have to admit, if this had happened any other year it would have killed us.
Not this time though. It is hard being on a long unbeaten run high and suddenly it comes to a screeching halt. You literally have to “go again” and I firmly believe that Hibs will do that. We’ve made too much progress since the ropey start to the season and we cannot let that go to waste. Certainly Alan Stubbs has no intention of letting the heads go down.
“We move on .. we are not going to be deflected. We have been fantastic, seventeen unbeaten. It was going to happen eventually but I can assure you it is not going to affect us. We have a really good dressing-room so there’s no reason for me to think anything untoward – I won’t let them anyway.” – Alan Stubbs
So we must look at what we have achieved. The unbeaten run of 17 games. That’s an achievement in itself. All credit goes to the coaches and players for achieving that, for coming out every match and giving everything and getting results. Even achieving them with a couple of poor performances. Annoying to have this run stopped but there’s no reason why we can’t do it again. We already know we can do it.
The football has been mostly fantastic. Passing is accurate, we can score from set pieces and from creation. Literally anyone in the team has the potential to score so we don’t rely solely on the strikers. This is a team who know how to play exciting football without using unnecessary tactics, we tackle well, we want the ball we take it. We’ve also got positivity in the dressing room, something which has been missing from there in a long time. Stubbs began it in his first season with us and carries it on now.
The proof of that is how the players responded after Monday’s defeat at Ibrox. Disappointed, yes, but determined to put it behind them and carry on, build up another undefeated streak, score goals – and we do need more goals – and keep the positivity going.
Liam Henderson remains puzzled about what when wrong but insists the team won’t dwell on Monday’s defeat.
“It was a sore one, but it’s finished now. We’ll sit down and try to pin-point what went wrong. I couldn’t put a finger on it, I thought we played well, played some nice football. It was a really open game and I’m sure the neutrals thoroughly enjoyed it.
“We won’t dilly-dally on it, we’ll analyse it, and each of us will see where we can do better and try to improve for the next game.
“We are a strong unit and we’ll bounce back. These things happen in football. You’ll always lose a game, but I believe you learn more from losing than you do from winning. As I said, it was a good experience for me, but losing a game we’d hoped to have won did put a dampener on the day.”
Henderson was also referring to comments made by Rangers Kenny Miller which suggested he felt losing to Rangers would put self-doubt into some Hibs players. He last played for Hibernian in 2000 and has no knowledge of the current Hibs set up. Close to retirement, striker Miller has scored ten goals in 40 games in his latest stint at Ibrox.
Liam Henderson isn’t the only player to speak out about how the team are feeling after Monday. November’s Championship Player of the Month for November, John McGinn, says confidence in the dressing room is not dented.
“If you put it into perspective one defeat in 18 isn’t too bad at all, we just need to try and put a similar run together. Our confidence has not been dented.
“We know it was just a minor blip in what was a really good run. We know we’ve got the players in here that can put together another run like that.”
“They have been brilliant all season, they’ve come back in their numbers now and it has really given the team a boost. The 900 that travelled to Ibrox were in fine voice and I hope they come along on Saturday and bring their pals.”
Take the whole season and look at it. It started badly but we overcame it. We went on a 17 game unbeaten run, firmly closed a gap that looked almost impossible and had Rangers believing the league would be wrapped up by Christmas. Confidence is high, our players are really shining. There’s many hours of football to be played and many points to be had. Let them be ours.
Now we face Raith on Saturday. It’s time for us to give someone a sore one and let’s hope that’s Raith at home in Easter Road. Get the points, get the goals and go again. We’ve lost ONE game since August, the first month of the league season. Let’s get behind the boys on Saturday and bring a pal!