BY IAIN COLLIN – Capital City Press
Marvin Bartley has heard all the talk of how Rangers are going to run away with the Championship and could go the whole season without defeat – but the Hibernian midfielder is having none of it.
There are only six games gone in the campaign but already the Easter Road side are nine points adrift of their Ibrox rivals for automatic promotion, although they do have a game in hand.
Whilst Rangers have been near faultless, Hibs have lost twice to Mark Warburton’s new-look team and dropped a costly three points against Dumbarton.
He may not take any notice of those who have already handed the title to the fallen Old Firm giants, but Bartley acknowledges Hibs cannot afford another slip up as they head for Livingston this afternoon aiming for a fourth consecutive victory.
The former Bournemouth and Burnley player said: “Let people think what they want to think. We’ll just get on with our business and that’s all I care about.
“We don’t look outside of our own squad. So we’ll look after ourselves and see where we are at the end of the season.
“We believe in ourselves, I am not thinking about Rangers at all. I don’t look at their results, I don’t care how they get on.
“All we’re doing is trying to win every game and if we do that we’ll win the league, so I am not bothered by anyone else.
“If we slip up and they keep winning we’re not going to catch them and we know that.
“But if you start looking at other teams then you slip up yourself and then you have a problem. We’ll worry about what we’re doing and see where we are at the end of the season.”
Head coach Alan Stubbs has pieced together an impressive squad, packed with strikers and attacking midfielders.
Bartley will be the first to admit he comes from a different mould, the kind of defensive midfielder more adept at preventing his side losing goals than creating them.
However, the 29-year-old insists he is content with the role he plays for the capital club and is happy to follow a rare pop at goal with a dig at himself.
He added: “I had my first shot in three years against Alloa and it was on target to be fair, so I celebrated it as if it was a goal! It was a bit of a rarity.
“I’ll just let all the other boys go for that, I’ll just sit at the back and try and hold things together. It doesn’t really interest me, if I’m honest.
“I’m happy to go unnoticed as long as we win games. The manager has asked me to do that for the team and I am happy to. I’m not really looking to be a glory hunter. I’ll let the other boys do that.”