Michael Weir: Defeat underlines size of Hibs’ task

Farid El Alagui scores for Hibs. Pic: Greg Macvean
Farid El Alagui scores for Hibs. Pic: Greg Macvean
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Defeat by our local rivals has underlined the size of the task Alan Stubbs has in his quest to lead us back to the top flight at the first time of asking.

After equipping ourselves reasonably well in the opening 45 minutes and had we taken the lead through Liam Craig’s spot-kick, we may have been talking about a completely different outcome.

However, after going behind to a strike worthy of winning any match, it became an uphill struggle which wasn’t helped by the dismissal of Scott Robertson and the resultant penalty for his challenge.

These games are vital if we are to stay in the race for promotion. We are now already playing catch up. The manager felt there wasn’t a lot in the game right up until Hearts went ahead and I would concur with this one.

What he and the squad do face now, however, is a must-win clash at home to Falkirk on Saturday. After this weekend’s results, our two biggest rivals will now look to build momentum after Rangers picked up their first three points of the campaign on Friday night.

Selling out our allocation at Tynecastle yesterday shows there is faith in Alan Stubbs’ players, but the coming days will be a real test of character for everyone at Hibernian Football Club – the one attribute that has been missing around the corridors of Easter Road for a number of seasons now.

Staying positive is the key to any success though, so this is a small setback. As tough as the loss at Tynecastle is to bear, our priority now lies with ensuring we collect all three points at home to the Bairns.

There has been an air of optimism among the majority since Alan Stubbs was announced as the new man to take us forward, but he himself can now appreciate how much it hurts to lose a derby to our local rivals.

I would hope the manager can bring in a couple of new additions before the transfer window closes. I still feel the squad could do with some bolstering, particularly in the final third of the pitch, as I felt Farid El Alagui was left too isolated at times and needs someone quick to feed off him.