Terry Butcher has urged his players to do “whatever it takes” against Ross County tonight to get the win which will finally kill off the spectre of a relegation play-off.
The Hibs boss admitted his side had “drifted” towards the foot of the Scottish Premiership table thanks to a desperate run of just one win in 16 league games, but insisted they had shown in the past couple of weeks that they can win the fight for safety, even if they took only one point from their games against Hearts and Partick Thistle.
Having won on their last two visits to Dingwall, Butcher revealed he’d happily take any sort of victory, saying: “We’re still not out of it yet by any means, but it has always been in our hands. And now we have a scenario where we know if we win we are safe.
“We have drifted, slumped really, into this position, but over the last two weeks we have given ourselves an opportunity to secure safety with a win. There is a finality now and I think we are in a good position in terms of the mentality and confidence of the squad.
“The togetherness of everybody is a lot better than it was two weeks ago before the Hearts game and that’s a huge plus. They have shown they have an appetite in the last two games, now it’s a case of finishing the job.”
Butcher predicted a battle against the Staggies, but was adamant his players were up for a scrap, determined to stave off the threat of finishing 11th tonight, rather than in the final game of the season against Kilmarnock on Saturday.
He said: “People say we have two bites at the cherry, but we want to finish it off tonight. There’s no doubt Ross County will want to win. They do well on their own pitch and beat Kilmarnock last time while this is also their final home game of the season and they will want to finish on a high.
“I’m looking for 90 minutes plus of effort and sheer grit and determination. It will be a battle, a scrap, a dog-eat-dog tussle, but we have shown in the last two games we are up for it and if it comes down to that then I feel we could win it.
“It’s not about the performance, it’s all about the result. We will certainly be very positive in what we do, the players are dying for the game to start. They couldn’t wait after Saturday because of the manner in which we finished the Partick game.
“It’s a ground where we have got good memories having won on our last two visits, scoring three goals and conceding none.”
And Butcher admitted he won’t care at all if his side win with the season’s luckiest goal. He said: “We are due some poxy, scrappy goal, a stramash where the ball ends up in the back of the next.
“Any flukey goal or bit of luck would do. We are surely due something and it would be nice if it came up there.”