Christmas comes early for Hibernian

Alan Stubbs has rewarded his players

Alan Stubbs has rewarded his players

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Christmas has come early for Alan Stubbs’ players after Hibs clocked up a 15th match unbeaten to haul themselves level with Rangers at the top of the Championship.

Jason Cummings’ 14th goal of the season not only earned the Easter Road outfit an eighth consecutive league win as they defeated basement outfit Alloa Athletic but, according to their boss, a well earned break during which the players will enjoy their Christmas night out a month early.

With no game this weekend as the third round of the Scottish Cup takes place, Stubbs had revealed he was considering giving his players a few days off but it all depended on the outcome of Saturday’s match at the Indodrill Stadium.

But today the head coach revealed he’s been true to his word, saying: “They certainly earned a few days off, I don’t think anyone can begrudge them that. It’s up to them what they do with them.”

And as to having a Christmas night out before the end of November, Stubbs believes it makes perfect sense, allowing his players to return to prepare for their trip to face Morton a week on Saturday and the following fixtures leading up to the Festive period without any distractions.

The victory over Alloa was, according to Stubbs, yet another example of his side digging out a result as they had done against Livingston only a few days earlier, the Liverpudlian mischeviously adding: “I think we have shown we have a bit of bottle,” a clear jibe at those who had predicted Hibs would crack as they attempted to chase down Rangers who, at the beginning of this month, could have opened up an 11-point gap on the Capital club.

Insisting he doesn’t get irked by such comments, Stubbs said: “You have to respond to things and we have. We have a lot of character within the team, a lot of ability, some great personalities, a lot of charisma but also a great work ethic amongst the group. That’s the reason why we have got these results.

“You don’t go and win 14 out of 15, eight straight league games without having the right ingredients, it’s just impossible.”