Easter Road is becoming Hibs’ fortress – Alan Stubbs

Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs and strikerJason Cummings proudly receive the Ladbrokes Championship Manager and Player of the Month awards for the month of October. Pic: SNS
Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs and strikerJason Cummings proudly receive the Ladbrokes Championship Manager and Player of the Month awards for the month of October. Pic: SNS
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Alan Stubbs believes Easter Road is once again becoming the fortress he once dreaded visiting during his playing days with Celtic

The head coach revealed that when he first became Hibs boss, he felt opposition teams actually looked forward to coming to the Edinburgh ground rather than fearing it.

But now, with the Capital club unbeaten at home in both the Championship and League Cup, a total of ten matches this season, Stubbs feels Easter Road is once again becoming a venue others will approach with more than a degree of apprehension.

He said: “You know as a player when you go away from home and you go to a big club you know straight away when you walk in the door you are going to be in for a really tough game. 
I did not necessarily get that impression when I 
first came in. The players have had to grow and deal with playing under the pressure of being at home, it was never going to happen instantly and it has taken a bit of time. I think when you are a club like Hibs, the feel is they are big clubs and you have to be able to rise to the expectation of that club.

“Some players cope with it, some players don’t. I think when I first came there was definitely that in their make-up, losing games, especially at home, was not acceptable. Our home form wasn’t godo enough. I remember coming to Easter Road and it was never an easy place to come to but I felt it had just become a place where teams looked forward to coming.

“We have managed to change that and I think our home record is now very good.”

Stubbs, however, admitted it had been a long haul to get to the point where a draw at home against St Mirren was treated as if Hibs had suffered a 5-0 hammering such was the level of expectation today but, he insisted, a pressure his players can now handle.

“The fans expect the team to play in a certain way and a certain style and I think it has been a work in progress. I think early on there was a little bit of me seeing if they could handle it and when you are at a big ground and not winning regularly it can affect you.

“What we wanted to 
do when we first came in was give the players a confidence first and foremost to go and play and I think off that they had a trust in me to be able to make mistakes but then react to those mistakes. We are probably bearing the fruits of that at this moment.”