Dumbarton boss Stephen Aitken plans to play strongest team against Hibs



Dumbarton manager Stephen Aitken insists his side have a duty to put up a fight against Hibs this evening – even though there is nothing at stake for the Sons.

Aitken was relieved that his team secured their Championship status for next season with victory over St Mirren at the weekend.

stevieaitkenHibs still have important play-off places to battle for and will attempt to eat into second place Falkirk’s three point and seven goal advantage against Dumbarton.

With this in mind, former Stranraer boss Aitken admits he must be respectful to the Bairns by playing his strongest available XI.

Aitken said: “I’m delighted we’ve got over the line, we were desparate to remain in the Championship.

“We’ll enjoy the next couple of games. We can go there with the pressure off and try and express ourselves a wee bit more.

“But we’ve still got a duty to go to Easter Road, which is a tough place, and perform.

“We can then maybe look at changing it about a bit in the last game of the season against Alloa and give players game time as that game won’t mean as much.

“Hibs are still fighting and it’s right that we try and put as strong a team out as we can.

“To get any kind of result at Easter Road you’re going to have to do that anyway.

“We’ll go with a game plan that we would have used regardless of what the outcome was on Saturday.

“We’ll go and make it difficult for Hibs. We made it difficult for Rangers at Ibrox a couple of weeks back too.”

Hibs face competition to set-up a play-off final against the team that finishes eleventh in the Premiership from the Bairns and Raith Rovers but Aitken has backed the Leith side to regain their place in the top-flight.

He added: “I still think they’ll get through in the play-offs, I still think they’ll be too strong for other teams but we’ll go there and make it as hard as we can.

“Hibs are a good side and have a big support. They’ve got to a couple of finals and they’re still in the promotion chase.

“Although Alan Stubbs has got some criticism at times, I think it’s been unfair.”