BY DARREN JOHNSTONE @CCP_Sport
Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs is adamant that next Monday’s eagerly-awaited showdown at Rangers will have no bearing on the Championship title race.
Goal difference now only separates the two teams at the summit after Hibs took full advantage of Rangers’ slip-up at Falkirk by overcoming Queen of the South on Saturday.
Stubbs’ side remain second but he admits the fact that they are both locked on 41 points ensures that extra ‘spice’ has been added to the televised Ibrox clash.
The former Celtic and Everton defender, however, insists defeat for either side will not be disastrous, with exactly half the season still to play.
He said: “It’s certainly not going to be won or lost and I don’t think the result will matter hugely towards the end of the season.
“All it will do is give a side more impetus one way or the other.
“Saturday’s win over Queens is the sort of win that can help you achieve things but there will be no-one getting carried away, we’ve still got Christmas to get through.
“Towards the end of January I think we’ll really get an idea and a clearer picture of how the table or the league is going to run its course.
“It sets the tie up really nicely but irrespective of the result on Saturday, it wasn’t going to be anything other than a great game anyway.
“The fact that Rangers dropped points and we moved level adds more spice to the pot.”
Stubbs, meanwhile, has revealed how he tried in vain to prevent the players from watching the Rangers game on Saturday after admitting that the pressure of trying to capitalise got to them against Queens.
The Rangers clash ended less than an hour before the match at Easter Road was due to begin.
Stubbs added: “We had a lot of the ball but never made the right decision, we rushed things a little bit and probably the result before hand, in a strange kind of way, didn’t help.
“I would have preferred the players to have gone out not worrying about that and I actually tried to stop them watching the game, but everyone knew what the result was.
“But that’s what they’re going to have to deal with, they’re going to have to deal with that from now until the end of the season.”