Stubbs: Hibs must forget goal difference and focus on win

Alan Stubbs expects Queen of the South to be tough opponents on Sunday

Alan Stubbs expects Queen of the South to be tough opponents on Sunday

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Hibs boss Alan Stubbs today urged his players to forget the goal difference which separates them and Falkirk and to simply concentrate on beating Queen of the South on Sunday.

The Easter Road outfit go into their last match of the regular season level on points with Falkirk but trailing the Bairns, who take on Morton at the same time, by three goals even though their advantage was slashed by the Capital side’s 4-0 defeat of Dumbarton on Tuesday night.

But, while admitting the outcome of the race to claim the finish which would lead to a less arduous play-off programme, Stubbs insisted the outcome may not even come down to goal difference, adamant that both Hibs and Falkirk face tricky matches.

Stubbs conceded that, as things stand, Peter Houston’s players are in the driving seat, saying: “They know that if they win they are also going to add to their goal difference. But, as long as we win, it might not come down to goal difference. We have to have at the back of our minds that we both have difficult games and there’s no guarantee both of us are going to win. Queen of the South are a good team. We know that already and, with this being the last game of the season, I’m sure they will want to put in a good performance to reflect that. It’s hard enough to get three points but to win games by a considerable amount of goals is even more difficult.”

Stubbs sprang a shock in benching Jason Cummings against Dumbarton, the club’s top scorer rested along with others such as skipper David Gray and goalkeeper Mark Oxley. Stubbs didn’t use any substitutes and argued: “If you bring someone on they have to get up to the speed of the game. We were looking bright, sharp and looked like getting chances. It would have been easy for me to change any one of them but Martin Boyle was giving us width, James Keatings [scorer of a hat-trick] offered that goal threat while Anthony Stokes was the best player on the pitch.”