Lewis Stevenson today insisted the threat of being dragged into a relegation scrap has been hanging over Hibs all season.
A run of one win in 12 league games has left the Hibees just four points above second-bottom place – and a play-off spot – ahead of tonight’s home clash with Aberdeen.
St Mirren’s resilient display to come back from a two-goal deficit and overcome Motherwell 3-2 on Saturday has narrowed the gap between Hibs and second-bottom Partick Thistle, the Firhill side finding themselves on the wrong side of a 4-2 defeat by Hearts.
While Terry Butcher’s side held ambitions of a top-six berth just a matter of weeks ago, 26-year-old Stevenson admits the battle to avoid the relegation play-off spot hasn’t caught him off guard.
He said: “People have really just been talking about us in the last couple of weeks but I have never seen us as out of trouble the whole season, really. We’ve never been that far away and had a big enough cushion so it’s been with us the whole time. If you were at one of the other teams, you would have to think you could drag us in.
“We’re still in a better position than the other teams, still being seventh, but it can change quickly, so we just have to take each game as it comes and pick up as many points as we can.
“The ideal situation would be we pick up points quickly. But if other teams keep picking up points then it’s going to be difficult.
“We don’t just want to stay up, we want to finish seventh and finish the best we can.”