Michael Weir: Substance over style vital in title race

Hibs celebrate Brian Graham's victory-clinching goal. Pic: SNS
Hibs celebrate Brian Graham's victory-clinching goal. Pic: SNS
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When you’re going for a title, style is of secondary importance to making sure the points are in the bag.

Saturday’s win wasn’t pretty but it was a case of job done for Hibs in a sticky game.

We looked a bit nervy early on and Dumbarton were set up to make it hard for us, but once we got the goal, I always felt we would win the game. As long as we’re back in the Premiership come the summer, I couldn’t care how we play for the rest of the season.

Let’s not forget there have been a few games where we’ve slipped up against Dumbarton in the last couple of seasons, so we can’t take victories like Saturday’s for granted. We’ve now got a testing run of fixtures coming up, with Morton and Falkirk away and Raith Rovers at home, and we could desperately do with taking nine points from those matches to make sure we’re still top when we face Dundee United again early next month.

Even though we’re missing a few key men, I still feel we’ve got a strong enough squad to cope and come through the next few games with maximum points if we apply ourselves properly. I’ve seen nothing so far to suggest we’re about to lose ground on Dundee United.

Having said that, a couple of quality January signings would give us a wee boost at a vital time in the campaign. I was encouraged to read in the Evening News that Hibs are looking at Kris Commons. That would be a big signing for us if he was to come in next month. He’s got the quality and experience that could give us a vital edge in the second half of the season, and would be worth pushing the boat out for if there’s a chance of getting him.

I’ve mentioned in recent weeks that we could do with a player with a bit of guile in the final third, and I think Commons would definitely bring that. He knows how to unlock a tight defence, and could make the difference in tight matches towards the business end of the season. There would obviously be a concern about his match fitness levels as he’s not played for so long, but Neil Lennon will be well aware of his situation and wouldn’t sign him if he had any doubts about his readiness to come in and make a difference.