Hibs in limbo - how 'embarrassing' call-off by rivals affects top-six hopes

Keep digging ... Dens Park failed a second pitch inspection yesterday.Keep digging ... Dens Park failed a second pitch inspection yesterday.
Keep digging ... Dens Park failed a second pitch inspection yesterday.
Monty focused on Motherwell - and getting potentially season-saving result

So we can all go back to our original viewing plans and tune into the Champions League, then? Dundee’s infamous pitch problems having put paid to any hopes of them hosting Rangers this evening, Hibs fans with the appropriate TV package can always console themselves by tuning into Barca v PSG or Atletico Madrid hosting Borussia Dortmund.

But there’s no doubt that yesterday’s inevitable call-off at Dens Park causes problems not just for Rangers, who branded the entire episode “embarrassing” in a strongly-worded statement. And it could hand Dundee an advantage as the SPFL split looms.

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Had their game gone ahead last night, all three clubs still in contention for a top-six slot would have known exactly what they needed from Saturday’s ‘final’ round of pre-split fixtures. Now? Depending on results elsewhere, the Dark Blues could host Rangers next Wednesday night - the current plan - in an ideal position, with Hibs and Motherwell having played the full 33 games.

They’ve also given themselves an easier task of wrapping things up with a game to spare when they travel to Pittodrie on Saturday, knowing that they’ll get a second bite at the cherry should results in the Granite City and at Fir Park - where Motherwell host Hibs - go against them. All things considered, it’s far from ideal for the SPFL, Hibs or Motherwell. Here are the revised weekend permutations:

Hibs win at Fir Park

They move onto 41 points. Dundee could still wrap up sixth place by beating a struggling Dons side still without a manager, taking them to an unassailable 42 points. A draw for the Dark Blues at Pittodrie would leave them needing something when Rangers come calling - eventually - next midweek.

Hibs draw with Motherwell

At 39 points, they’d be dead level with Dundee. But ahead on goal difference. They’d then need Tony Docherty’s men to lose to both Aberdeen and Rangers.

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Hibs lose to Motherwell

All over for Monty’s men. Then it’s the Fir Park side who are best placed to challenge Dundee, as they’d be sitting on 39 points - but, again, with a better goal difference than the Dee.

Montgomery, speaking before last night’s call-off, stressed the need for Hibs to take care of their own business without worrying about what happens elsewhere, saying: “The only thing we can do is wait and see, stay positive, hope that we’re heading into the weekend with a chance to still make the top six. Whatever happens, we’ve been focused on ourselves in training, putting together a plan to go and win against Motherwell. That’s all we can do.”