Michael Weir: We can’t ignore importance of league form

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The effort and commitment exerted from the players to ensure our second 
Scottish Cup final appearance in 
consecutive seasons may make tonight’s 
visit of Aberdeen that little more challenging.

The effort and commitment exerted from the players to ensure our second Scottish Cup final appearance in consecutive seasons may make tonight’s visit of Aberdeen that little more challenging.

The hype from last weekend’s events has now settled with the focus returning to league duty as the cup final sits in the backburner for the next few weeks. Of course, the big day on the horizon will continue to prey on the minds of everyone connected with Hibernian, but we must show our professionalism and deliver on the park between now and our return to the national stadium.

The arrival of Derek McInnes at the helm will ensure the Dons will bring an extra dimension to their game, the new manager himself revealing that several members within his squad have the next five games to prove they are worth a new deal at the club. That, in itself, is all the motivation you need as a professional footballer and to be in control of your own destiny.

Pat Fenlon, on the other hand, is also looking for his players to perform to their own capabilities and prove they deserve a starting jersey against Celtic on May 26. The praise this week towards the younger players who showed a willingness to get us back into contention against Falkirk has been fully merited. However, we cannot place too many expectations on these kids’ shoulders ahead of what could be a memorable occasion for the club. They carry all the right attributes to make it to the very top of the game, but pinning all our hopes on a couple of teenagers in a Scottish Cup final is not the way we should approach a fixture of such magnitude.

With the remaining league fixtures ahead, we must try to gather a bit of momentum before our showdown with the SPL champions as our form has certainly been indifferent over the last month or two. Another difficult trip to Tynecastle also beckons with Hearts eager to finish ahead of us in the table.

It was publicly confirmed by relegation-threatened Wolves last week their intentions to recall Leigh Griffiths to their set-up for next season. This is, of course, a massive blow to the club but is a decision I, and probably the majority of Hibs supporters, fully expected. I am quite sure Griffiths, himself, will already be dreaming of writing himself into Hibs folklore by grabbing the winner in next month’s final in what would be a truly wonderful way to end his spell with a club he quite simply adores. With this in mind, coupled with the imminent departure of Eoin Doyle to League Two’s Chesterfield, we must start making inroads into identifying suitable replacements in the transfer market for next season. Both players have contributed more than 30 goals at this stage between them this year, and without their ability to find the net, we could have quite easily been involved in yet another fight to preserve our SPL status. I appreciate there is still a lot to play for between now and the end of the current campaign, but surely we must be thinking of making tentative enquiries to individuals who can carry us forward in attack next season. Griffiths’ goals, in particular, have been a joy to watch and some may feel he is irreplaceable for a club like Hibs. However, Griffiths is an ambitious player himself and will want to prove he has a future at a higher level in England.

The future of Scottish football remains up in the air at the moment after last week’s vote failed to secure enough support to restructure the game from top to bottom. It remains to be seen what impact this will have and what proposals the authorities have up their sleeves as an alternative. The outcome of last week’s rejection will undoubtedly spark greater tension amongst some of the clubs in the SPL, but I would prefer if we were to refrain from getting too caught up in such matters as there are more pressing issues on the park for the club at this moment in time.