Hibs still targeting Europe despite 'really tough season', says Ben Kensell

Hibs are still targeting European qualification despite a tumultuous 2021/22 campaign, according to chief executive Ben Kensell.

Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 10:30 pm

The Easter Road side currently lie seventh in the Scottish Premiership, 12 points behind Hearts in third place but just two points behind Dundee United in fourth and with Hibs having a slightly more favourable run of fixtures between now and the Scottish Cup quarter-finals, they have hopes of once again qualifying for contintental competition after reaching the third qualifying round of this term’s Europa Conference League where they lost to HNK Rijeka of Croatia having seen off Andorran side FC Santa Coloma at the previous stage.

Club chiefs have made no secret of their desire to be reach Europe every season, and despite the managerial upheaval and a sizeable player turnaround in January, Kensell is adamant that this campaign should be no different.

“When it comes to Hibs we're very, very clear. It has to be easily a top-six finish from our perspective. There are certain parameters that we have, but we always put down a top-four finish,” he told the Evening News.

Josh Doig in action for Hibs against FC Santa Coloma in the Europa Conference League qualifiers

Hibs finished third ahead of Aberdeen last season under Jack Ross but with their city rivals holding a significant lead in the best-of-the-rest spot, Shaun Maloney’s side face an uphill battle if they are to dislodge Hearts.

"We still have aspirations to finish in the top four, and that's exactly what Shaun is aware of, because that then unlocks the European hopes that we have,” Kensell continued.

"We want to go deep into a cup, if not win a cup. We did well by getting to the League Cup final and I think we were unlucky; decisions went against us that, in my opinion, would have given us the opportunity to win or at least take the game into extra time.

"Those objectives won't ever change while I'm here. We have really good, progressive goals that we want to go after, that will help the club grow in every sense."

“If we can grow financially, we can then reinvest that back on the pitch, get better players, entertain the fans, and make Easter Road a really, really tough place to come."

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