David Gray: I don't want any more Hibs surprises

David Gray has called on the Hibs squad to leave their shock at the news of boardroom changes to one side or risk being stunned again, this time at the hands of Dundee in their Betfred Cup tie.

By Moira Gordon
Saturday, 28th November 2020, 6:30 am
Hibs defender David Gray expects a tough game against Dundee in the Betfred Cup tie. Photo by Mark Scates/SNS Group
Hibs defender David Gray expects a tough game against Dundee in the Betfred Cup tie. Photo by Mark Scates/SNS Group

The Easter Road side will host the Dens Park side in the last 16 of the Betfred Cup and while Gray has described a sense of widespread disappointment among the playing squad following the news that long-term chief executive Leeann Dempster will leave the club in the coming weeks, he says that they have to keep their minds on footballing matters.

“It obviously happened very quickly but it's happened now,” said Gray. “It's one of these things and I'm sure in the coming days as the dust settles a little bit, we'll get a chance to speak to Leeann, but we have a massive game and that's the most important thing at the minute.”

After the recent Scottish Cup semi-final loss, the 32 year-old club legend says it is important to put together a positive cup run.

Sign up to our Hibs football newsletter

“That was the objective at the start of the season, to finish in Europe and try and win a cup. This is a big opportunity to progress to the next stage, that was the firm focus from the start of the season, we did well in the group stages, but in the knockout stages anybody can beat anybody so we need to guard against that but at the same time, we've got a home tie so we're fully expected to go out and put a good performance on and get to the next round.”

Don’t take them lightly

The pair already met in the group stages of the tournament. In that one, the Premiership side took an early lead but were surprised to be pegged back by their lower tier rivals and although they eventually ran out comfortable victors, Gray has warned about complacency and stressed he does not want Hibs to offer the Championship side any such encouragement this time.

“I think you saw in the game, Dundee are a good side and we fully expect another tough game. We won 4-1 in the game, but no one has come out of it thinking that this is going to be an easy game. Everyone knows the challenges that we face. It's a one-off game, one where we need to be at maximum ability to make sure we go out and win.”

To do that they may well have to up their defensive efforts as a team, having allowed standards to slip in recent weeks.

“It's not just a back four or a goalkeeper or defensively minded players, we've had our success this season because we've defended very well and that starts from the front and I think we need to get that back.

“Everyone has been fully aware we've not been as tight as we had been in recent weeks, we need to make sure we put that right as soon as possible but it's not just been an individual thing or just the back four thing, or just the defenders, it has been a collective and when we've been successful it’s been because the whole team has been doing it very well.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.