Hibs boss Alan Stubbs today admitted he doesn’t want the speculation about his future to cease – because that would mean the Easter Road side had stopped winning games.
Stressing he’s happy where he is, Stubbs is only too well aware of his growing repuation in a season in which the Capital club are fighting on three fronts, largely thanks to their victories over a series of Premiership sides, Aberdeen, Dundee United and St Johnstone all knocked out of the League Cup, and arch-rivals Hearts sent spinning out of the Scottish Cup.
Former Celtic striker John Hartson added fuel to the fire this week by insisting Stubbs would be the ideal successor to Hoops manager Ronny Deila.
Joking his friend Hartson was attempting to get him to sign up for his charity golf day, the Hibs head coach said: “If I keep winning games of football there’s going to be speculation. I don’t want to turn round and say I want to stop it, because that means I want to be losing games of football.
“So, I’m going to keep winning. I’ve got to say I am very happy with what I’m doing. I want to achieve something here. We’ve put the foundations in place to try and take the club forward and we’re on the right path without achieving anything yet. There’s a long way to go, but we are making good strides, I would say.”
And, Stubbs insisted, it wasn’t about him but his players who deserve credit for having put together a run of just one defeat in 28 games to take them to a League Cup final and into the last eight of the Scottish Cup while chasing down Rangers for the Championship title.
He said: “I’ve never been one to look at things when they go well in terms of what it means for me. I’m all about the players’ success and I have been from day one. It’s all about them. They’re the ones who are doing all the talking. I’m just guiding them.
“My part is bringing them in and putting a team together with my staff and the recruitment department. We’ve done reasonably well with that. Basically, all we have done is given ourselves a platform to potentially win something – that’s all.”
Stubbs added: “I’m not looking too far ahead at all. I don’t look into the future and think ‘if we win this, it could lead to this’. The only thing I look at is the next game and I’d rather be answering quesions about interest in my players than interest in me.
“It’s the way I am. I don’t look at self-pride. I haven’t got an ego. It doesn’t do anything for me reading about me. I’m not really comfortable reading about myself.”
With Hibs trailing Rangers by eight points in the race for the title, Stubbs concededed his side, who have the chance to trim that advantage in tonight’s rearranged home match against Morton, have to be ready to take advantage of any slips by the Ibrox club.
He said: “I think all games are pivotal now. We need to keep our side of the bargain by winning our game in hand and getting the points gap down to five and then I do think that there will still be one or two twists.
“Just before December, I said there would be twists and turns and I think we are getting to the point now that it will be one, maybe two. If it is just one, then we have to capitalise now. I think it’s getting to that stage.
“We missed an opportunity last week [against Livingston] but, if we do get another one, we have to take it.”