Alan Stubbs today insisted he has an unshakeable belief in his players despite their indifferent start to the season, telling them: “I am right behind you.”
The Easter Road side now lie ten points behind Capital rivals Hearts having lost four of their first six Championship matches, the latest setback being a 1-0 defeat away to Queen of the South, but Stubbs reiterated his opinion that it is only a matter of time until results begin to turn in their favour.
And although he conceded Hibs are underdogs going into tonight’s League Cup clash against the Premiership’s basement outfit Ross County, the head coach claimed victory in Dingwall could provide his players with the springboard they are so desperately seeking.
“It’s a chance for us to get a result in a different format of the game,” he said. “Hopefully it can be a release from the league to just give us a lift and maybe kick-on. We must be the underdogs because they are Premiership opposition playing at home. The onus is on them to go through the tie.”
Having said that, though, Stubbs insisted he’ll be looking for his players to go in search of a win, again restating his opinion that Hibs haven’t got the rewards their performances have merited in a number of games. He said: “The frustrating thing is we know there’s been nothing in the games that we have lost, they could just as easily flipped on their heads and gone our way, but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We know it’s just a matter of time before it falls on our side. We have to keep doing the right things and more often than not if we do that then we will have a better chance of winning games. Unfortunately we are making one mistake and are being punished.
“The players know I am right behind them and I actually do not think we are too far away from it changing. We have had a bit of bad luck, the performances have been okay. As a group we realise that we have to get better and then results will go in the right direction.”
Stubbs insisted that despite his present difficulties he’s still enjoying every minute of his first managerial experience, adamant that everyone at a club of Hibs’ stature has to be able to handle the pressure that brings.
He said: “If I did not enjoy it I would not be here. If I did not enjoy this side of it I would not have applied for the job. I enjoy working with the players, they are a great bunch of lads. No matter what people say they give it their all.”
And when asked how he was coping with the pressure, the former Celtic and Everton defender said: “There’s always a pressure, when you are winning as well as losing. I realise results have to get better but from a pressure point of view, I believe in the players and as long as they see I am believing it will turn.”