Alan Stubbs has hit back at those who claim Hibs’ season is about to fall apart after defeats by Morton and Dumbarton which have left the Easter Road club’s Championship title hopes all but gone.
The Capital club lie 11 points behind leaders Rangers, having just over a fortnight ago been eyeing the opportunity to slash the gap between the sides to three. This has led to some suggesting Hibs have “reverted to type” by falling short again.
“If people are saying we have crashed then we must have crashed to get to the League Cup final,” Stubbs retorted, “and we must have crashed to get to the Scottish Cup quarter final. You can’t have it both ways.
“With everything in life, it’s changing the perceptions people have of you. That’s what you have to do. We’ve tried to do that since we’ve come here and we’ve had some success at doing that.
“It is a process you have to keep working towards. Let’s see if these people are saying the same things at the end of the season. It’s the first time we’ve lost back-to-back games since the season started five months ago so we’re still doing okay.”
And Stubbs claimed the bald statistic of six goals lost in two games didn’t tell the entire story, adamant his side has, in fact, been playing “okay”.
He said: “We’ve made a couple of mistakes and we’ve been punished. It was a strange game at Dumbarton on Saturday. We started the game well and they scored with their first attempt at goal.
“We made a mistake which contributed to the second and a lapse in concentration that led to the third. Once we got one back, I thought we’d get back in the game and, at 3-2, I think most people would have thought we’d have got an equaliser and potentially won the game which we had chances to do.
“The disappointing thing is that we’re actually playing okay. We’re not playing poorly. It’s just a matter of the boys settling down again and doing the basics right again.
“We just made some silly mistakes and unfortunately we’ve done that in the last two games and been punished for them. We might have made a mistake in the games previously but weren’t punished.
“I’m hoping that’s all our mistakes gone because we’ve had a lot of clean sheets.
“The players have rightly been given the plaudits but right now they need to strip it back a bit and concentrate on individual situations in the game, whether that’s set-pieces or us without the ball.”
And, while disappointed at the errors which have proved so costly, Stubbs insisted he wouldn’t be pointing the finger at anyone.
He said: “I must say it’s not individuals, it’s a team. You know, we make mistakes as a team. We win as a team and we lose as a team.
“And, maybe over the last couple of games, we’ve made one or two mistakes. But we’ve made them as a team.
“There will be no-one, under my remit, having the finger pointed at them individually.”
Both club captain David Gray and striker Anthony Stokes return to the squad for tonight having missed out at the weekend through illness.