MAURICE MALPAS has claimed everyone wants to see Hibs dragged into a relegation battle – but insisted the Easter Road outfit will gain enough points to avoid trouble.
A miserable run of just one win in 13 Scottish Premiership matches has not only seen the Edinburgh club’s hopes of a top-six finish for the first time in four seasons vanish but has left Terry Butcher’s side flirting with the threat of finding themselves embroiled in a play-off scrap to secure their top-flight status. Hibs currently sit seventh, four points clear of second-bottom place as the first round of the five post-split fixtures gets underway, with the club’s slide into the danger zone attracting widespread attention and more than a few unwelcome headlines.
But, while accepting Hibs’ predicament is of their own making as they’ve failed to collect enough points, assistant manager Malpas, pictured, believes the Capital outfit’s bottom-six rivals would happily swap places.
Revealing he and Butcher are using the negativity swirling round Easter Road to galvanise their players for the final push to safety, the former Scotland internationalist said: “It’s quite tight. Everybody thinks they can beat each other. A lot of the media are desperate for us to be there because it’s a great story for them – so good for them.
“Some of the other clubs will be saying it can have an effect but trust me, we do use it. We’ve got to use it in such a way that it helps our our team performance. We could be worse. We could be in 11th place just now. We’ve got to be positive about it, go and play and enjoy the challenge. I think if you spoke to the other clubs they’d rather be in our position because of the number of points we’ve got. But it’s important we get more points and get everything sorted out.
“We’ll have enough points to stay up, I’m sure of that.”