Hibs top six issue explained as manager considers injury crisis solutions
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The Edinburgh side are fifth in SWPL1, four points clear of Partick Thistle in seventh. A win over Hamilton will mathematically secure Hibs’ place in the top half before the split with one game left to play. However, with title challengers Celtic still left to play, there is extra pressure on the Edinburgh team to get the result they need at New Douglas Park.
“We want to get the top-six side of things done,” Gibson told the Edinburgh Evening News. “We have got Hamilton and we have got to try and go and win the game. Fingers crossed we can do that. We have got another few days after that, we can recover again. Then we are back to the Sundays. This week has come at a horrible time in regards to our squad size but against Hamilton, we still had enough to go and win it.”
The club may have felt they dropped points in their last outing against Aberdeen at Meadowbank Stadium. Gibson’s side were unable to break down a stubborn Dons side as they were held to a goalless draw. As a result, Hibs are now on a three-game winless run in the league after a loss and two draws. Defender Liana Hinda insists that a good performance against Hamilton is just as important as a result.
“I’m definitely looking forward to it,” she stated. “We are looking to get three points from that and solidify our spot in the top six, in the top half of the league. I just hope we put in a better performance than we did against Hamilton.
“Securing the top six is part of it. Also, we want to work on things that we have been working on in training. Getting better as a team and a unit. Winning is important, but we also need to get better at some things as a team.”
An injury crisis at the club has certainly contributed to a downturn in form, with four players out with long-term injuries. Rachael Boyle and Shannon McGregor are out for at least till the end of the season, while Poppy Lawson and Crystal Thomas continue to remain on the sidelines.
Lucy Parry and Rosie Livingstone were the latest added to the club’s long list last week, however Gibson is hopeful that the former might be back for this weekend. Despite the current situation, Gibson is sceptical about bringing in players on a short-term basis as he looks to get their form back on track.
“It was always going to be quite tight [bringing players in]”, Gibson added. “Although we have got four longer-term injuries, we have also got four or five other ones who are more short-term. You can bring people in on emergency loans, but then your squad size becomes too bloated. It’s one of them ones where we will see how we go after Sunday and then hopefully we can get another few bodies back in by then.”