Butcher: Hibs can find the net in showdown

Hibs boss Terry Butcher
Hibs boss Terry Butcher
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TERRY BUTCHER is adamant Hibs can overcome their chronic goalscoring problems in time to preserve their Scottish Premiership status.

The Easter Road side go into today’s relegation play-off decider against Kilmarnock as the lowest scorers in the top flight, while they have netted only twice in their last seven games.

They need to find at least one goal today, however, as only a win will be enough to stop them finishing second-bottom and having to enter a nerve-shredding play-off match against a high-flying Championship side.

Butcher believes the intensity of the atmosphere at Easter Road today can help give his misfiring players the confidence to shoot more often.

“I see a goal coming, I see goals,” said the Hibs manager. “This team is well capable of scoring and there are factors why it hasn’t happened – chief among them is a lack of confidence to take a shot.

“In the short time we’ve had the players, we’ve worked a lot on scoring, but cometh the hour, cometh the men.

“With a vibrant Easter Road and everyone in the crowd behind us we can get the win.

“I’ve met a lot of Hibs fans and they have all said they will be with us and cheer us on. That’s a fantastic feeling and it will push us on.”

Butcher feels Hibs can benefit from uncertainty in the Killie ranks over how to approach the game. A draw would be enough to keep Allan Johnston’s side in the top flight but Butcher knows from painful experience that such a situation can cause a sense of limbo over whether to play for the win or sit back and settle for a draw. His Inverness side lost to Falkirk on the last day of the season five years ago when a point would have been enough to keep them in the league.

“Because Kilmarnock only need a point, that can end up throwing you out,” he explained. “Allan Johnston says they’re going out to win the game but, then, does he leave them wide open? There can be a lot of doubt in the Kilmarnock camp about how to approach this.”