Alan Stubbs: Hibs will have to be clever against Cowden

Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs. Picture: Lisa Ferguson/TSPL

Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs. Picture: Lisa Ferguson/TSPL

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Alan Stubbs would have no complaints if Cowdenbeath arrive at Easter Road tomorrow intent on parking the bus, and the head coach acknowledges the onus will be on Hibs to find a way to goal.

Stubbs expects the Blue Brazil to present a different set of problems for his side following matches against Rangers, Hearts and Falkirk which were far more open than the encounter he anticipates tomorrow.

But having seen his side score eight goals over the course of those three matches, the Hibs boss believes his side have the armoury to take all three points and get back on track following the disappointment of last weekend’s draw with the Bairns in which the Capital club threw away a 3-1 lead.

In doing so, Hibs passed up the opportunity to widen the gap on both Falkirk and Queen of the South, the two clubs immediately below them in the battle for play-off places, but they have another chance tomorrow, when those teams clash at Falkirk Stadium.

Cowdenbeath, however, are in their own fight to avoid being dragged into the relegation play-off spot currently occupied by Alloa Athletic who travel to basement outfit Livingston, making anything they can get from their trip to Edinburgh as something of a bonus.

Aware that Jimmy Nicholl’s side have pushed his players close twice already this season, head coach Stubbs said: “It will be a really difficult game. I’m sure they will come and make it really difficult for us as is their right. So we need to be clever, bright, move the ball quickly and keep creating chances which at this moment is the pleasing aspect of our play.

“As long as we are creating chances I am happy and the strikers will be happy, that’s what they feed on and both Jason Cummings and Martin Boyle looked a real threat against Falkirk. They combined well and looked to stretch the game with the pace Martin gives us.”

Although disappointed with the manner in which points were dropped against Falkirk, Stubbs believes that will prove to be no more than a blip, the first time this season Hibs have conceded three goals in a league match.

He said: “In general we have been very good over the last three months, we haven’t given much away so to concede three was a surprise. Yes, we could have gone six points clear of Falkirk but they didn’t gain any ground on us and that’s what it is about at this time of the season, keeping your rivals away from you as much as you can.

“One result doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong, it’s just a case of refocusing and everyone getting back on it again.”

Meanwhile, Sir Tom Farmer, who owns a 98 per cent stake in Hibs through his company HFC Holdings, has acknowledged that fans deserve more of a say in the running of their club.

Speaking for the first time after the launch of a scheme to allow supporters to buy a controlling stake, he said: “I have been involved with Hibs for over 20 years now and there are already 1700 shareholders that make up the club. Twenty-odd years ago, this is the way I thought we would go, which is why we encouraged the 1700 shareholders, and after such a long period it is maybe coming to a sort of fruition.”