Sam Stanton today urged his Easter Road team-mates to “finish the job off” against Ross County tomorrow night by claiming the win that will secure Scottish Premiership safety.
Partick Thistle looked to have consigned Hibs to a seventh straight defeat until Stanton nodded a last-gasp header to earn a precious point. And with County and Kilmarnock both losing, Terry Butcher’s side now stand just one victory away from avoiding the relegation play-off spot.
And 20-year-old Stanton is desperate to see them do that at the first time of asking in Dingwall, Victoria Park a one-time bogey ground for Hibs now holding no fears following victories on each of their last two visits to the Black Isle.
Butcher’s side, in fact, have won their last three clashes with Derek Adams’ outfit, a record Stanton is naturally keen to extend to a fourth. He said: “We’ll definitely be looking to go up there and win. We just need one victory and we want to get it as quickly as possible.
“We’ve won on our last two visits to Dingwall so we’re looking for a hat-trick of wins there. That’s not something you’d have heard before this season.”
Stanton believes the performances against Hearts and now Partick have sent confidence soaring even if they managed to take only one point from the two games, the youngster admitting he feared it could be none as Jags goalkeeper Paul Gallacher defied Hibs time and again with a string of breathtaking saves.
He said: “It was starting to look as if it was never going to happen. Gallacher played really well, made some brilliant saves while we hit the crossbar and the post which had us thinking it was going to be another of those days. So it was relief more than anything to see my header go in. It’s easily the most important goal of my career so far. It was a massive point for us.
“It could be a turning point for us. There are only two games left and while we know a win tomorrow night will do it for us, we want to finish the season with two victories and I think we are capable of doing it.”
Stanton agreed with Butcher that it would have been a “travesty” had Hibs finished pointless again, but the belief in the camp is that they deserved to get something from the derby the previous weekend.
He said: “We put so much into the Hearts game and it was terribly disappointing to get nothing. We felt very hurt and it would have been truly awful had we not got something from this one considering the number of chances we’d had, while they didn’t really cause us too many problems.”
Hibs will be without Michael Nelson, who picked up two yellow cards for fouls on Thistle striker Lyle Taylor to incur an immediate one-match ban while midfielder Kevin Thomson was forced to limp off just two minutes into the second half with a thigh strain and must be rated highly doubtful, not only for tomorrow night but the final game of the season at home to Kilmarnock on Saturday.