Lewis Stevenson has urged his Easter Road team-mates to make the most of being in the top six of the Premiership table for the first time in eight years by “having a right go” at taking second place.
Hibs will go into the final five matches of the season just three points behind Rangers and Aberdeen in the race to claim to be “the best of the rest”, but disappointed they are not even closer after being held to a 1-1 draw by relegation-threatened Ross County.
However, while admitting it will be tough going, Stevenson insisted Neil Lennon’s players have nothing to fear given their league record against the other teams. They have drawn home and away to Celtic, had two victories at Ibrox, a win over Aberdeen and unbeaten by both Capital rivals Hearts and Kilmarnock.
Stevenson, who made his 400th appearance for Hibs in Dingwall, said: “It’s a few years since we’ve been in the top six and I don’t think we had a great record then.
“We’ll be looking to improve on that, but there’s a real belief among the boys that we can push on for second place.
“The top six, though, can be totally different, it’s like five cup finals because it’s the best teams in the league this season.
“It’s going to be tough, but everyone has everything to play for.”
Stevenson conceded he and his team-mates were disappointed not to have clocked up the win against Ross County which would have put them a single point adrift of Rangers and Aberdeen but, nevertheless, insisted confidence remained high with Lennon’s players enjoying a run of nine matches unbeaten.
He said: “We thought we created enough chances against County, it almost felt like a defeat. But they showed a lot of fight, defended really well and we knew they’d be playing with confidence following their win against Partick Thistle.
“It would have been a travesty if we’d taken nothing from the game, but there was a time a few years ago when we’d go up there and have been happy with a point which shows how far we have come.
“It was disappointing to draw, the extra points would have helped but we are showing good consistency at just the right time and you need that if you want to finish second or third.
“There’s still plenty of points to be played for and we’ll be looking to pick up as many as possible.”
Meanwhile, Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster has described the sale of season tickets as “absolutely phenomenal”, revealing 9300 had been sold as the club’s “early bird” discount offer came to an end – around 2000 ahead of the same point last year.
She said: “It’s given us great confidence going forward.”