Fraser Fyvie today told those who claim Hibs have blown their chance of finishing second in the Championship table to think again.
Successive defeats by Rangers and Raith Rovers have persuaded many that momentum has now swung in favour of the Ibrox club claiming the spot which would avoid an extra two play-off matches come the end of the season.
“Who’s saying that,” the midfielder replied when that point of view was put to him. “The media? We’ll just look after ourselves. There’s no point in looking at Rangers, they’ll do what they do and we’ll do what we do and our aim is to take as many points from these last few games as we can.”
And if the Easter Road outfit’s resolve is now being questioned, former Aberdeen and Wigan Athletic player Fyvie insisted Alan Stubbs’ squad are up for the fight, although he conceded he and his team-mates need to be far more ruthless in front of goal having let Raith off the hook last week.
He said: “It’s not as if we have been playing badly, it’s just that we have not put the ball in the back of the net as often as we should have.
“Things haven’t gone our way in the last two games, but these things happen in football. What’s happened has been put out of our minds – we look to tomorrow and Queen of the South with the firm intention of winning.
“But we also have to be respectful to Queens. They’ve maybe lost their last couple of games just like us, but they have done well this season and still have that great incentive of trying to make the play-offs.”
Fyvie has happy memories of the last time he faced the Dumfries side, scoring the opener for Aberdeen in a Scottish Cup replay at Palmerston Park after the teams had drawn 1-1 at Pittodrie. That, though, was all of four years ago before he made his ill-fated move south,
He recalled: “There was a bit of pressure on us that night having drawn at home, but we took the pressure off us by winning. Tomorrow is a league match, but it’s the same sort of thing – we need those three points and the pressure is on us to get them.
“We’ve been creating chances but not putting them away so we have to be a bit more ruthless about our game. Immediately after the Raith match the boys were all asking each other how we’d managed to lose it, but if you don’t put the ball away then these things can happen.
“Teams punish you on the break and we maybe have to be a bit more aware of that going forward, that we set up in case the opposition break on us. But it’s something we have worked on.”
Fyvie claimed his second goal for Hibs in Kirkcaldy, scoring just four minutes after Mark Stewart had put the Fife club ahead and, he admitted, he felt at that point Stubbs’ side, having hit the post and bar in the first half while a Sam Stanton header was taken off the Raith line, would run out winners.
He said: “It probably was a scruffy goal, Scott Allan’s shot taking a deflection and looping up over the defender, but I’d read the boy missing it and slotted it in.
“Then for the next ten or 15 minutes we had them pinned against the wall and had we scored again then we’d probably have gone on and won the game. The fact is we didn’t – we lost two sloppy goals. But even with Raith having scored two, we should probably have got five or six ourselves.”
While Hibs have managed just one goal in their last two games, Fyvie was adamant that wasn’t a worry, saying: “We’ve got goals throughout the team, there’s no doubt about that. Virtually every player – including Mark Oxley – has scored this season and the quality in the team is there for everyone to see.
“We just need to be a bit more clinical when chances present themselves.”
Tomorrow marks the start of a crucial week for Hibs, with a trip to Dumbarton to follow in midweek before Hearts cross the Capital for the final Edinburgh derby of the season, while Rangers take on Robbie Neilson’s side at Ibrox on Sunday. Dumbarton boss Ian Murray has been quoted as saying Hibs have, in his opinion, the easier run-in given Rangers will face Hearts again at Tynecastle on the final day of the season.
Rangers travel to Dumfries, where they lost 2-0 earlier in the season, in midweek before Falkirk, a side Hibs haven’t managed to beat this season and one they face on the final day of the season, make the journey to Palmerston Park next weekend.
As such, it is obvious points are going to be dropped by someone, somewhere, the only questions being who, how many and where.
Fyvie, however, insisted he wasn’t interested in such machinations.
He said: “Yes, there will be a few twists and turns, but we aren’t looking at anyone else’s games, only our own. We’re looking to take as many points as we can and if we play as we did against Raith and take a few more of our chances then we’ll be fine.”