Dylan McGeouch has called on Hibs to defeat Livingston and ensure they can prepare for a formidable home double-header against Hearts and Dundee United in upbeat mood.
Alan Stubbs’ side were left disappointed by back-to-back draws with Raith Rovers and Dumbarton at Easter Road in their last two outings, although tomorrow’s teatime encounter in West Lothian presents them with a chance to extend their unbeaten run to five games.
Midfielder McGeouch believes such a sequence would leave them in positive psychological fettle ahead of a testing four-day period in which they face a visit from Championship leaders Hearts on Sunday week before welcoming Premiership high-fliers United in the League Cup quarter-finals the following Wednesday.
“Tomorrow’s game is a big one after drawing two games at home we felt we could have won, so we’ll be looking to pick ourselves up,” said McGeouch. “If we win, it sets us up nicely for Hearts and the cup game. It’s a good couple of weeks coming up.
“If we get a result tomorrow, all of a sudden we’re five games unbeaten, playing good football and things don’t look so bad. The derby looks after itself but it would be good to go into that game on the back of a five-game unbeaten run.”
McGeouch, who joined Hibs on loan from Celtic on transfer-deadline day, insists he has not detected any doom and gloom at Easter Road despite a slow start by his team in the Championship. “I’ve found the atmosphere fine,” he said. “Hibs are a big club and are expected to win every week, but obviously it’s not gone that way. We didn’t start the best, but we’re getting there now and it’s starting to click.
“We want to get better results, but if we keep playing the way we are, they will come. I don’t think many of our team had played in this league before – it’s different to what we’re used to. It’s a good standard and it’s certainly not as easy as everyone thought it would be.”
Meanwhile, head coach Stubbs expects to hear by close of play today whether or not Paul Quinn has accepted an offer to join Hibs. The 29-year-old former Motherwell, Cardiff and Doncaster player spent time training at East Mains last week and has also been on trial at Ross County this week as he mulls over his options. “Paul’s speaking with another club and he will make a decision,” said Stubbs. “He’s been great with me right from the start – he’s been very upfront and very honest. I’m sure there will be an outcome to that very soon.”
Stubbs will give Liam Fontaine until the last minute to try to shake off a thigh injury in time for tomorrow’s match. If the defender misses out, the head coach, whose only other senior centre-backs are Paul Hanlon and Jordon Forster, may have to stray from his favoured 3-5-2 formation.
• THERE will be three cash turnstiles in operation for Hibs supporters attending tomorrow’s match against Livingston at the Energy Assets Arena. Tickets are priced at £18 for adults, £12 for concessions and £6 for children.