Florian Kamberi: Hibs' form worthy of second-place finish

Flo Kamberi insists Hibs deserve second place in the Premiership table based on a run in which they have lost just once '“ a 1-0 defeat away to champions Celtic '“ in their last 16 league matches.

Monday, 30th April 2018, 6:30 am
Florian Kamberi celebrates scoring Hibs' fourth goal

The Swiss striker believes the Capital club’s thrilling 5-3 victory over Kilmarnock on Saturday has piled all the pressure on Rangers and Aberdeen in the race to be runners-up behind Brendan Rodgers’ outfit. And, with a trip to Pittodrie, a derby against Hearts and a final-day showdown at home to Rangers to come, Kamberi insisted he and his team-mates have shown they have what it takes to chase down what would be a remarkable finish for a team newly promoted from the Championship. In a game which swung one way and the other, Hibs twice led through Scott Allan and Steven Whittaker only to be pegged back by goals from Killie’s Kris Boyd and Stuart Findlay before appearing to have secured all three points with further strikes from Jamie Maclaren and Kamberi only for Boyd to set up a nervous ending as he hammered home a stunning free-kick to make it 4-3.

However, substitute Brandon Barker allowed the home support to breathe easily again deep into added-on time as Neil Lennon’s players built on last week’s excellent win over Celtic.

“It’s been the perfect start,” said Kamberi of Hibs’ first two post-split wins. “It was a great game and I think it was bigger than against Celtic. Now we can to go Aberdeen with confidence.

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“We have now won two difficult games and we showed character up to the 95th minute, so I think we deserve to be second.

“But we still have three games and we have to stay focused and keep going. Having five different scorers wasn’t bad, it shows that we all have the quality to score goals.”

Asked if he felt Hibs were now the team to fear as fear as Aberdeen and Rangers were concerned, Kamberi said: “I think our opponents know our strengths and it is not easy when they know that we have big qualities.

“I think Rangers and Aberdeen are under more pressure than us. It was a big season for Hibs last season in the Championship and now we are in the Premiership fighting for second place.

“We can’t forget this. I think we are on a good run, we haven’t lost since January against Celtic, and hopefully we can end up second.”

Lennon famously claimed a year ago that Hibs were the second best team in Scotland, a statement which was much derided at the time but, when asked if he shared his manager’s opinion, Kamberi said: “I don’t want to talk too much that we are the second-best team. But, with how we have been playing in the last few weeks and the qualities we have, I think we deserve to be second.”