BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Alan Stubbs insists there will be no blame game in the Hibernian dressing-room, despite the back-to-back defeats that have put paid to their title aspirations.
The Easter Road head coach confessed after Wednesday’s shock 3-0 defeat to Morton that catching Championship leaders Rangers was going to prove difficult.
After Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Dumbarton that task is now well-nigh impossible.
However, with promotion still a possibility via the play-offs and a League Cup final against Ross County on the horizon, as well as their Scottish Cup quarter-final against Inverness Caley Thistle next Sunday, Stubbs has urged his players to stick together.
He said: “There’s a few of us that just need to get back to basics and start doing what they did to get themselves into this position.
“We’ve had two disappointing results but it doesn’t changed anything in terms of what we want to achieve this season.
“And it’s important we don’t over-react to it.
“I said to them at the end (of Saturday’s match) that we stick together. There’ll be no pointing the finger at individuals, that’s not what we’re all about.
“We win as a team and we lose as a team, and we have to have that mentality, because we are making too many individual errors – but only us, as a team, can put them right.
“We’ll speak about it, but the best way to put it right is by doing the right things.”
Promotion, however it is achieved, has always been Hibs’ primary objective this season, but the title was always the number one goal.
With that having surely slipped through their grasp, Stubbs is eager to maintain a positive outlook on his team’s campaign.
He added: “We’ve lost two games of football but it hasn’t changed our objectives on what we want to achieve.
“It’s just made going up as champions very difficult – but that does not change what we want to achieve.
“We said we want to do it as champions, but if not we do it through the play-offs.
“So, from that point of view, we’re still on target to do what we want to do.
“We just need to stop making silly mistakes, because we’ve got a lot of important games to play between now and the end of the season.
“And the quicker we eradicate them the better chance we’re going to have of winning games of football.”
They do not have long to solve their current malaise, with a tricky trip to face Queen of the South next up on Tuesday.
Stubbs told Hibs TV: “Football throws you up lots of different tests and this isn’t a test of character, because I know what character there is in the dressing-room.
“But it’s a little test for them going into the next big games, because very rarely do you go through a season without having a couple of defeats.
“Good teams bounce back quickly and we need to bounce back quickly on Tuesday.”