Hibs determined to maintain a pace that rivals are unable to live with
Hibs are scampering down the home straight ahead of their rivals and midfielder Aex Gogic says they are determined to hold onto that advantage until the race is over.
“It is a sprint to the finish line now,” said the Cypriot international. “After the split everyone knows it’s just a final push and about trying to get as many wins as you can.”
Four points ahead of fourth-paced Aberdeen, with four league games remaining, the Pittodrie side made up some ground in the first round of post-split fixtures, winning at St Johnstone as Hibs earned plaudits but no points for their performance at Ibrox.
But with Livingston next up for Hibs, at Easter Road this evening, and Aberdeen faced with Celtic, the Leith side are in no mood to offer Stephen Glass’ men any encouragement.
“We had a good go and I thought we could have nicked something at Rangers,” said the 27 year-old. “Unfortunately, we didn’t, so now it’s just the final sprint to try to win these games.
“Obviously you want to win, and then you always have a look [at Aberdeen’s results] and I’m sure they’ll do the same.
“It’s just a habit from every player to just check the other scores, and we’ll have a better look to see what Aberdeen have done. We focus on ourselves but if they do drop points then you enjoy it even more.”
Jack Ross’ men may not have harvested any points from the meeting with Rangers but the performance did give them the belief that they can get the job done and secure a notable third place finish in the Premiership - the club’s first in 16 years.
“For sure. We set standards and it’s good to meet those standards. We need to maintain that momentum, as we did in the cup game with another clean sheet, and take that into this game,” added Gogic, who welcomed daughter Alesia into the world six weeks ago.
A mixed bag of results against Livingston this season, with both sides recording convincing victories earlier in the campaign, and settling for a 1-1 draw in the most recent outing, in West Lothian.
Gogic was involved in all three matches and is expected to be back in the starting line up after being rested at the weekend.
“At the beginning of the season we played really well against them and it was a good score. Then, in January, at Easter Road, we were going through maybe a little bit of a dip as a team.
“Just before the split it was a good battle, to be fair to both teams but, hopefully we can get that second victory against them.”
Already set for a taste of European football, third place would mean the possibility of a prolonged run through to December, depending on the outcome of the Scottish Cup and, thanks to their efforts in Stranraer, they still have a say in how that pans out, heightening the sense of excitement in the Hibs ranks.
“As a player, it’s one of my biggest goals. I wanted to play for my national team, which I’ve achieved, and now it’s to play in Europe. Hopefully I’ll achieve that as well.
“For every player that’s something you want to be part of.”