Hibs defender Lewis Stevenson has joked that his missus will need to find a new man because he will not get a day off amid an exhausting nine-game run in April.
Stevenson made the most of the fortnight international break by spending time with the family – knowing he was about to embark on a gruelling schedule, starting with today’s trip to St Mirren.
The battle to secure second in the Championship has become even more important just so the players can get some respite before a potential play-off semi-final tie.
The Leith outfit’s fixture backlog is partly because of their success in reaching the League Cup final and Scottish Cup semi-final and Stevenson admits he will hardly get to see wife Julia and kids Louis and Luna during their demanding run of fixtures.
He said: “I chilled out a bit during the international break.
“I switched off from football and spent time with the family because I’ll hardly see them in April. The missus is going to have to find a new man.
“We probably won’t have a day off because of the amount of games we’ve got.
“The recovery the day after a game is really important now so we’ll be in all the time.
“It goes fast when you’ve got all these games because it kind of takes over your life. We’ll probably be in every day for a month straight but if we win all the games and get what we want from it, it could be the best time ever.
“It’ll be different if it doesn’t go so well though.
“I wouldn’t say it’s daunting. It’s just a football match you’re playing at the end of the day.
“You try not to think about the run too much but the games will come round thick and fast so you don’t get much chance to dwell on what’s happened.”
Stevenson admits their recovery between matches will be hugely important.
He added: “The management, the medical staff and the sports science people look after you. It’s not like old school where you’re running up and down hills for fitness.
“We do the ice baths, contrast baths, a lot of stretching and massage.
“Sometimes you feel like you’re coming in for a spa day.
“We also do a spin class. It seems quite easy but it does make a big difference. There’s method behind everything we do.
“When there’s so many games it also gives you a license to fill your body with food – as long as it’s the right stuff obviously – because you’ll burn off a lot of calories.
“At this time of the season you need to fuel your body so you can eat pretty much as much as you want because you burn off a lot of injury.”
The difference between finishing third or second in the Championship will determine whether Hibs have a four or 11 day break before beginning the play-offs.
Alan Stubbs’ side, who have lost their previous four league matches, are currently six points behind Falkirk but have three games in hand.
Stevenson added: “If you want to get promoted, I think playing four games would make a difference compared to six, especially given the run of games we’ve got coming up this month.
“I think we’ll probably need to win almost every game if we want to finish second.
“Falkirk will have the same idea, so there will be some massive games this month.”