Lewis Stevenson insists Hibs’ trip to bogey team Dumbarton will provide a good indication of whether they are equipped to banish the blips that undermined their two previous promotion bids.
The Easter Road side sit two points clear at the top of the Championship after winning all four of their league matches so far under Neil Lennon.
They will aim to make it five in a row at the start of a campaign for the first time in 70 years when they face Stephen Aitken’s part-timers at Dumbarton Football Stadium, a venue they lost at on both their visits under Alan Stubbs last season.
Stevenson played in both of those damaging defeats and believes that today’s match will act as an acid test to determine if his side are the real deal this term.
“We didn’t win there last season, we got beat twice in the league, so this will be a test to show how much we’ve come on as a team,” said the left-back. “If we can go there and get a result it will show we mean business this season.
“I can only say after the game if we’ve learned how to deal with it. I don’t want to speak out of turn and say we’ve turned the corner. Ask me that question after the game when I’ll know if things have changed.”
Stevenson is refusing to get carried away by his side’s fast start. Hibs enjoyed an eight-game winning run in the league last term and a couple of five-game winning streaks the previous season, yet failed to gain promotion. The key difference this time is that Lennon’s side have been able to show consistent form early in the campaign to leave their rivals chasing.
“It’s the first time in 42 years we’ve actually won the first four league games, which shows how good it’s been,” he said. “But it can change on a sixpence, so we have to be focused on every game; every game has its own tests. We’re only four games in, there’s still 32 games to go. It’s going to be tough.”