A lot has been written over the past week or so about the fact Hibs have 13 first-team players out of contract in the summer, but I actually think that situation could work to our advantage.
We effectively have the majority of the squad playing for their futures, as well as trying to win promotion, and that could give us a real edge. I’d be very surprised if the bulk of them don’t want to remain at Hibs, so it’s in their interests to get the title tied up as early as possible in order to allow negotiations over contracts take place.
I think most of the boys out of contract have done a turn for Hibs and would be happy for the majority to stay with us next season, but Darren McGregor would be the most obvious one to tie up as he is playing at a really consistent level and is sure to have suitors elsewhere.
The big man was solid again in very good victory over Queen of the South on Saturday. We looked like a side at the top of the league, whereas Queens appear to be a team that have totally lost their way since our previous two games against them. It was a comprehensive and fully-deserved win but ultimately I couldn’t care less whether we’re winning 1-0 or 4-0. The main thing is that we’re winning most weeks and keeping ourselves ahead of the pack. We need to just keep churning out the victories because it has the double effect of building confidence among our own players and supporters, while also making it really hard for our rivals to believe they can overhaul us. If we keep putting points on the board, there’s not a lot the other teams can do about it.
We had an added bonus with Dundee United slipping up, and that means we can go to Tannadice with a nice three-point cushion for our top-of-the-table clash a week on Friday. It’s going to be a really intriguing game. They’ll be right up for it because they know it’s a great chance to draw level with us and crank up the pressure on us again, but I’m confident we can go there and win. If we do that against a side who have been going well, and move six points clear at the top of the table, it’ll put us in a really strong position.