Hibs will be ready for Europa League fight – John McGinn

John McGinn was left frustrated by Saturday's 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock
John McGinn was left frustrated by Saturday's 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock
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Hibs midfielder John McGinn has insisted he and his team-mates will return from their winter break determined to clinch a place in the Europa League.

Neil Lennon’s squad head to Portugal for a week’s warm weather training this weekend lying fourth in the Premiership table but McGinn claims they deserve to be sitting in an even higher position.

The Capital side wrapped up the first half of their return to the top flight with a 1-1 draw against Kilmarnock last weekend, an outcome which McGinn conceded has “probably been the story of our season so far”, another game they dominated without clinching victory.

Admitting Lennon’s players would probably have been happy with where they currently are at the beginning of the season following their promotion from the Championship, the 22-year-old said: “It’s been a really good first half of the season, but the way we have played I think everyone would agree we deserve to be higher up the table. I know that’s easy to say but it is something we are going to try to rectify in the second half of the season, to turn our performances into wins and hopefully get a European spot if not higher.

“The Killie game was probably the story of our season so far. We are dominating games, we lose an early goal and we are chasing from then. We got a break for our goal against them, applied a lot of pressure but didn’t create enough good chances.

“Some days it just does not go for you. Kilmarnock have been doing brilliantly since Steve Clarke came in and we knew with them having not played the previous midweek they were going to give us a good game. We dominated but we just need to find that cutting edge to put teams away.”

McGinn revealed he feels the three=week break will benefit Lennon’s players, adamant they’ll return for a Scottish Cup derby against Hearts on January 21 in their first game back totally refreshed. He told Hibs TV: “Most of the boys have played a lot of games and towards the the last five or ten minutes on Saturday we began to toil a bit.

“We didn’t get the winter break the Premiership got last year. I think it is a good idea. It lets everyone regroup and hopefully freshens 
everyone up for the second half of the season.

“We’ll be training in the sunshine and we’ll be raring to go for the derby. We know how important it is to everyone involved and hopefully for the neutral we can put on a bit of a spectacle.”