Hibs were always going to suffer a defeat at some point, but I didn’t expect it to come at home to Ayr at this relatively early stage of the season.
It just shows that no matter how strong you are, you can’t take any team in the league lightly when you’re the title favourites because every team wants to beat you.
If we needed a reminder that this season won’t be a walk in the park, then Saturday’s game gave us it. The one positive we can take from it is that it should give everyone a serious wake-up call and ensure we don’t become complacent.
I’m not overly worried about it because in football teams rarely win every single game. People said to me we could go the whole season undefeated, but that’s not how football works. You can be the best team in a league at any level but you’ll always suffer unexpected wee dunts along the way.
There are going to be times in the season when we don’t click, and Saturday was one of those days. Even then, we looked like we were going to win it before Marvin Bartley got sent off. That gave Ayr a lift and they countered us well.
The key thing at a time like this is that you react positively and make sure any setbacks don’t turn into slumps, like the one we suffered last season, in February and March.
We certainly can’t afford to be slack this weekend, in our top-of-the-table game against Queen of the South. I think the players will be delighted to have a big game like that to come back to because they’ll be able to rouse themselves no problem.
They will be in no doubt about how good Queens are after losing to them in the Betfred Cup, so they’ll have to be right at it from start to finish if they want to get a result down there.
Queens are flying just now and certainly won’t be worried about facing us. It remains to be seen if they will be our main challengers this season, as Falkirk are picking up and Raith Rovers and Dundee United shouldn’t be discounted, but certainly at the moment, we couldn’t ask for a tougher opponent than Queen of the South away. We’ll learn a lot about Hibs from how they react on Saturday.