BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
JOHN McGINN reckons every guest at the plush Mar Hall hotel knew that Hibs had taken a massive step towards the Championship title on Saturday night – thanks to his wild celebrations.
With the 22-year-old away on international duty at the weekend, he was forced to tune into the club’s own TV channel on his iPad to take in all the action from the Hibees’ crucial triumph over Falkirk.
His teammates at the Scotland base snubbed the Championship fixture, however he is adamant they were left in no doubt about the outcome when James Keatings curled home a sensational last-minute strike to make it 2-1.
“I think I was just as delighted as the boys on the pitch. I was just in my room on my own – I don’t know where the rest of the boys were – but I was as nervous as anything. It is much harder watching these games.
“I can see why you would always rather be on the pitch playing. Everything looks that much easier when you are watching.
“But it was a great win against a tough opponent and I was delighted. I was running about daft in my room – my reaction was basically the same as the boys on the pitch!”
McGinn admits he endured a “difficult” international break, with Lennon having stated that he would like the player to return to Hibs following last Wednesday’s draw with Canada should it become clear he was not going to feature against Slovenia.
As it was, he was an unused substitute on Sunday night at Hampden – but hopes he never finds himself at the heart of a clubs versus country debate again.
He continued: “I just kept my head down, kept training and assumed I would be a part of it on Sunday.
“It was a difficult situation but now I am back at Hibs, feeling fresh and ready for Wednesday.
“The incentive for me is Premiership teams get international breaks, so hopefully we can make sure that doesn’t happen again!
“It was a good thing I was still with the squad, I think that shows what the coaching staff think of me and I was close to being involved.
“It always is a great experience, you improve and learn new things. You are around top players and top-class coaches.”
The 2-1 victory over the Bairns gave Hibs a 10-point gap at the top and even head coach Neil Lennon yesterday insisted the title race will be all-but over if they beat Morton tonight.
However, McGinn has vowed to ensure complacency does not become an issue.
McGinn added: “Morton, along with Falkirk, are our nearest challengers and this is the chance to make the gap even bigger – and we don’t want to give the teams chasing us any hope. It is in our hands.
“There have been a few times that people have said it was over and we got complacent, that can’t happen.”