PAT FENLON has urged his Hibs stars to make the most of their home games, starting with tonight’s visit of St Johnstone, who trail the Easter Road side by just one point.
Hibs have lost only three of their 12 SPL games at home so far this season, a record bettered only by league leaders Celtic and Ross County, although Fenlon and his players will feel that they should have avoided defeat in each of those games, losing by a single goal to both Aberdeen and the Staggies while allowing Motherwell to come back from two goals down to win.
But Fenlon believes the four matches Hibs will play between this evening and the “split” will prove key fixtures with a mere eight points now separating second from second bottom.
He said: “The league is so tight, it’s really important you pick up three points from your home games when you can. It’s so tight right the way through it’s difficult to call games, even predicting results is difficult at this stage.”
While St Johnstone go into tonight’s match knowing they can leapfrog Hibs and move into fourth place with a win, Fenlon’s players themselves know they can join Inverness Caley and Motherwell on the 37-point mark if they can beat the Perth club for a third time this season although both of those clubs will enjoy two games in hand on the Capital outfit.
Tonight’s match has, of course, been moved back 48 hours to accommodate the television cameras but while fans will be unhappy at yet another switch of dates, it has worked in Hibs’ favour on this occasion with both Caley and Motherwell losing to Celtic and Kilmarnock respectively at the weekend while Fenlon hopes the delay will allow Honduran midfielder Jorge Claros extra time to recover from a round trip to Central America last week and also help Northern Ireland defender Ryan
McGivern get over the hamstring problem which has been troubling him recently.
Insisting his players will have taken confidence from their William Hill Scottish Cup triumph over Aberdeen, Fenlon said: “The ones that play early have an advantage if they pick up points, it puts pressure on the other teams but if the results go for you, that’s fine.”
While hoping McGivern will be fit, Fenlon is less confident about Tim Clancy, the right back having missed the Cup win with a hamstring injury.