BY DARREN JOHNSTONE @CCP_Sport
Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs admits the Easter Road club are facing a huge month when they finally return to action following a three-week ‘winter break’.
The Leith outfit are back on Championship duty against Falkirk on Saturday having not played a competitive game since beating Alloa on November 21.
The visit of the third placed Bairns precedes a home clash with Queen of the South, while Hibs travel to Ibrox for a crucial top of the table showdown against Rangers three days after Christmas.
And with only three points separating Hibs from Rangers at the summit, Stubbs admits their Festive run of matches is crucial to their hopes of winning the Championship.
He said: “The fans have been fantastic home and away but now we’re coming into a big month.
“Now we have two home games against Falkirk and Queen of the South before we have another game on the 28th (of December).
“It’s important that we approach these games, and the outcomes are in our favour – the fans will play a big part in that.”
Stubbs, whose team’s game was called off at Morton last weekend due to the weather after having a free Saturday the week before due to Scottish Cup action, added: “We’ve just had our winter break, that’s the way we’ve looked at it.
“We’ll have had a three week gap from the our last game to the time we play Falkirk on Saturday.
“The players will have used one week of it accordingly and we’re ready now for Saturday.
“We had a game among ourselves on Monday and Saturday will be a really tough game.
“I’m hoping there will be a big crowd there on Saturday to cheer us on because we’ve not been at home for a number of week now.”
Stubbs, meanwhile, insists he will take part in the planned 14th minute applause that will celebrate the life of Brandon Walker.
Hibs fan Walker, who was visited by midfielder John McGinn in hospital, tragically passed away at the age of 14 last Friday night due to a rare lung and heart condition.
Fans are planning a minute’s applause during Saturday’s match against Falkirk.
Stubbs – who was named Labrokes Championship Manager of the Month for November on Monday, added: “Of course I’ll be joining in at the touchline. I’m sure the fans have already heard about dedicating the 14th minute applause to Brandon. It’s a nice touch.
“It’s devastating news for the family, I know John went in to see Brandon last week and when John heard the news he was personally really affected by it on Friday.
“I would like to pass on, on behalf of the team, coaches, all the staff and the club, our condolences at such a difficult time for them.
“And I would like to dedicate my Manager of the Month award to Brandon.”