Steven Whittaker: Cup semi-final berth and holding Celtic has lifted gloom at Hibs

Steven Whittaker played a big role in holding off CelticSteven Whittaker played a big role in holding off Celtic
Steven Whittaker played a big role in holding off Celtic
Steven Whittaker believes the doom and gloom which had descended upon Easter Road is beginning to lift, the securing of a Betfred Cup semi-final berth followed by a battling display which saw Hibs become the first side to take a point from Celtic this season.

Admitting players and fans alike had enjoyed a lift from those results, Whittaker conceded it was hard to say exactly where those two performances had come from as a run of three successive defeats was brought to an end.

“It’s difficult to say,” the veteran defender said. “Little things have gone against us in games. It’s not been for the want of trying, the efforts of the boys.

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“We’ve been trying to get results, trying to work together, the players and staff on the training ground. We know the performances haven’t quite been up to scratch but we still believed we were close to it, close to getting that result.”

Whittaker cited the last-minute goal conceded against St Johnstone, Jason Kerr clearly offside only for the flag to stay down as he headed home the equaliser as an example of where things have gone against him and his team-mates.

He said: “If we’d won that we’d be sitting in a better position than we are. The last two games have shown the character and fight you are goind to need first and foremost to get points. Hopefully we can get a little bit more quality in our play, score a few more goals and start getting the points on the board.”

Hibs now travel to Pittodrie to face an Aberdeen side reeling from a 5-0 hammering by Rangers at Ibrox, the biggest loss in manager Derek McInnes’ era, and, insisted Whittaker, a chance to pick up a win ahead of the international break to send confidence even higher. He said: “Everyone needed a lift, the last two games have given us that.”