BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
ASSISTANT-manager James McDonaugh fears Hibs could run away with the Championship this season and insists it would be a ‘ridiculous achievement’ if Falkirk can finish above their title rivals for a second successive season.
The Bairns pipped Hibs to second spot behind Rangers last term, with just goal difference separating the sides.
Falkirk then prevailed in the teams’ play-off semi-final before failing to clinch promotion in the final against Kilmarnock.
Having emerged on top against the Easter Road outfit last season, McDonaugh knows some will have high expectations that Peter Houston’s men can do so again and seal the title and one automatic promotion.
But, with Hibs having so far racked up two victories – including the opening-day clash with Falkirk – and the Bairns having managed just a single point, McDonaugh believes Neil Lennon’s side will take some stopping.
McDonaugh, who was a youth coach at Hibs until making the switch to Falkirk two years ago, admitted ahead of tomorrow’s trip to face Queen of the South: “Hibs are the ones that are the biggest club in the league, so you would have to fancy them.
“And they’ve started with six points as well, so it’s a case of everybody trying their best to get as close to them as they can.
“You would rather be sitting there with maximum points and people catching you.
“But the prizes for finishing second and finishing fourth are not massively different – it’s just two games and maybe a wee bit of a difference in money.
“Obviously, to get first is everybody’s aim but we’re two games in and we’re chasing already. You just try to finish as high as you can, that’s it.
“There’s probably expectations from certain quarters, but for us to finish above Hibs two years in a row would be a ridiculous achievement.
“I was told that Falkirk had never finished above Hibs in my life time – it was 45 years or something like that.
“That speaks volumes for what we achieved last season, and to do it again would be ridiculous.
“I think to get close to them would be an achievement in itself.”