Efe Ambrose admits Hibs haven’t been good enough recently and must produce a strong response after the international break in order to climb back into the top six.
Hibs have slipped from second place in the Premiership to eighth over the past month after taking just one point from their past four matches. They have failed to score in their last three and Ambrose knows there must be an improvement at both ends of the pitch if they are to get themselves back into the mix for a European place.
“We are not on a good run at the moment but that’s football and we have to work harder to get out of it,” said the defender. “The players are not happy to have dropped out of the top six, that shows something hasn’t been right. I am not just saying it for the sake of it, it’s because we know we have to do better.
“Sometimes you go through runs like this, we know something isn’t right and now we have two weeks to fix it. That is all you can do, everyone has to stick together and we look at what we have been doing wrong. It hasn’t been like us, we haven’t been scoring goals and that is very unlike us and we haven’t been stopping teams at the other end. So we have to get back to doing what we are good at – scoring goals and keeping clean sheets.”
Hibs return to action at home to Dundee a week on Saturday. It kicks-off an intense run of nine game in 35 days, eight of which are in December, prior to the winter break.
“We need to look forward to the next games now, get back to creating chances and taking them,” said Ambrose. “We have a lot of work to do in the international break, we have to come back from it stronger and ready to do better. We have players away with their international teams but the ones who are left behind have to put the work in.
“In December we have a lot of games and that month will be crucial for us. Eight matches isn’t an easy task and in that run we play some of the best teams, so it won’t be an easy task. We have players injured at the moment but some are coming back and when they are I think you will see better from us.”
Ambrose, meanwhile, has backed teenage colleague Ryan Porteous to bounce back from his costly error in Friday’s defeat away to Aberdeen. The 19-year-old defender gifted the ball to Gary Mackay-Steven before the winger drove home the only goal of the game at Pittodrie.
“It’s a team game, it wasn’t down to Ryan Porteous,” said Ambrose. “He tried to pass the ball but it moved a lot slower in the wind and they were able to take it off us.
“He is a good defender, I have talked about him a lot because he is someone I think has a very big future. He will have a future for Hibs and for Scotland. Nobody should judge him on Friday night, it wasn’t his fault, these things happen and could have happened to any one of us.”
• HIBS beat Kilmarnock 4-2 in a bonus-point penalty shoot-out yesterday after their Reserve League Cup clash at Rugby Park finished goalless. The result means the young Hibees failed to progress to the knockout stages from Group C.