BY DARREN JOHNSTONE – Capital City Press
Plaudits from supporters are warmly appreciated by players. But it is something that the Hibernian faithful have not mentioned that has pleased Dylan McGeouch.
At Easter Road, it has been a case of Scott who? Scott Allan’s much-documented switch to Celtic in August left the club’s fans fearing that the creative void he left would not be filled.
However, the collective efforts from the likes of McGeouch, John McGinn, Fraser Fyvie and on loan Hoops playmaker Liam Henderson has ensured that last season’s Championship Player of the Year has not been missed.
The Leith outfit are ten points better off than they were at this stage last season and a run of ten victories from 11 matches has given them great hope that they can cut Rangers’ lead at the Championship summit to five points today.
“I’m good mates with Scott, he’s a great player and he deserves everything he gets,” said McGeouch.
“But the Hibs fans now are just concentrating on the squad we’ve got. It’s just as strong – if not stronger – with the players the manager has brought in.
“It’s great to see that and the fans know we’ve got a good squad. They’re mostly talking abut the players we’ve got instead of the players we’ve not got anymore.
“It’s a great squad, especially in the midfield where there are a lot of options.”
Head coach Alan Stubbs has had the luxury of rotating his midfielders recently, with today’s visit of Rangers their sixth match in three weeks.
But McGeouch, who signed a permanent three-year deal in August after spending last season on loan from Celtic, insists there are no hard feelings if a player finds himself dropped to the bench.
He added: “With the games we’ve had, the manager could rest a few players and get their legs back.
“The players coming back are continuing that and getting the results. It’s great the manager has got that ability to get the results.
“The gaffer will always explain his decisions with you if you’re left out.
“He’ll always pull you aside and explain why. Maybe it’s technical or maybe it’s to save your legs.
“You can always understand and everybody in the squad appreciates that.
“We’ve got that togetherness and we’re all aiming to do well.”
McGeouch, meanwhile, has rubbished suggestions that the title race will be over if Hibs are defeated this afternoon.
He added: “I wouldn’t say it was finished if we lose on Sunday. We proved last year we came from a good few points behind Rangers to finish second so we’ve always got confidence.
“Even if we don’t get the best of results, we’ve got the togetherness to come back from it and kick on.”