Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs insists his side would have nothing to fear if they are forced to pursue promotion through the play-offs.
The Leith outfit’s title aspirations suffered a huge set-back on Wednesday evening in a surprise 3-0 defeat to Morton, a result that leaves them eight points adrift of the summit with 11 games left.
Stubbs has not ruled out catching Rangers but is adamant that his players would not be daunted by the prospect of having to play the 11th placed top-flight club in a promotion decider.
Stubbs, whose team were beaten by the Ibrox club at the semi-final stage last season before Motherwell preserved their Premiership status with a 6-1 aggregate victory over Rangers, said: “I’ve said all along we want to go up as champions.
“If not champions, we want to go up through the play-offs and the Morton result does not change anything.
“It does not stop us from doing either, it just makes one of them more difficult.
“There are potentially four teams (Kilmarnock, Hamilton, Motherwell and Partick Thistle) who could find themselves falling into that (play-off) position.
“If they do then I don’t think any of them would look forward to playing us, Rangers or Falkirk because of the quality in those teams.
“I think there is a very good opportunity that the Championship team could go up this time.
“I think we only have to look at our cup form against Premiership teams this season to see that we would go into it with good confidence.
“But I’m sure that Rangers went into their play-off last season in good confidence and we all know how that went.
“So, we know that whoever we face, if we do end up facing them, it will be a difficult game.”
March is a big month for Hibs, with a Scottish Cup quarter-final against Inverness and League Cup final showdown with Ross County sandwiched between league matches and Stubbs is keen to look at the bigger picture in the wake of the Morton defeat.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Dumbarton, Stubbs added: “Wednesday was a disappointment but we are still in there on three fronts.
“I think it’s important that there’s not a knee-jerk reaction to one result.
“I’ve not been here sitting about this type of result for quite some time and there will be no knee-jerk reaction from me or anyone here.
“It wasn’t a good night at the office – you go again.”