Terry Butcher today warned his Hibs side “there’s still a lot of work to be done” after watching them take a huge stride towards securing their place in the Scottish Premiership.
Teenager Jason Cummings’ first two goals for the club secured a 2-0 win over Hamilton Accies at New Douglas Park last night, making the Capital outfit firm favourites to win the play-off final, the second leg of which takes place at Easter Road on Sunday.
But, despite being delighted to see his side end a run of 13 matches without a win, the Hibs boss admitted he was still wary of the threat posed by Championship outfit Accies.
Agreeing with Hamilton manager Alex Neil’s claim that the tie was not yet over, Butcher said: “He’s saying it, I am definitely saying it and the players are saying it. There’s still a lot of work to be done and we saw last night that Hamilton are a good quality side.
“They have good players and we need to have the same focus and desire, the same attitude and hopefully the same goals on Sunday.”
While his players had found themselves under severe pressure since losing to Kilmarnock on the final day of the regular season, the defeat condemning them to 11th place and a play-off against a team which had lost only once in their previous 15 matches, Butcher insisted they’d coped admirably last night.
He said: “I am pleased for the players because after the Killie game it was always going to be difficult. But they approached it well. They came straight back in the next day, we had a chat about the position we were in and what we had to do in these two games coming up.
“The break helped us, not so much because we didn’t have to play a game, but because we got everybody together and I felt the attitude and character of the players was tremendous. To pick yourselves up from the disappointment, the fans weren’t happy, we’d lost another game in which we hadn’t scored again.
“It’s hard to break away from that run but we have done it now. Bad runs have to come to an end as well as good ones and it’s a lovely feeling. I thought the boys held their nerve well, the first goal lifts us enormously.
“We haven’t had that feeling for some considerable time but getting that goal certainly gave us an edge. But is the job done? No, they are a good side and we have to go out and be professional.
“There will be a bumper crowd at Easter Road, fans cheering us on and we want to make the most of it, to enjoy the occasion but also make sure we play well and finish the job off.”