Hibs 'will keep fighting' for third despite Aberdeen set-back, vows Lee Johnson ahead of Celtic and Rangers double-header
and live on Freeview channel 276
The Easter Road side hit the woodwork on multiple occasions and striker Kevin Nisbet saw a 79th-minute penalty saved as the Dons held on for a goalless draw that was ultimately of greater benefit to them than their visitors.
Hibs now have consecutive home games against the Old Firm before a final-day trip across the city to face rivals Hearts, and although three points at Pittodrie would have helped in the race for third, the Capital club are not out of the reckoning but need results elsewhere to go their way if they are to unseat Barry Robson’s side.
"I thought we were outstanding against Aberdeen,” Johnson told Sky Sports on Tuesday. “I thought the boys implemented the gameplan to perfection, apart from that elusive goal that we were very unlucky not to score. We hit the woodwork four times, missed the penalty, and dominated between boxes. We’re disappointed we couldn’t take the three because that would have put us right in with a shout of third, but we’ll keep fighting.
"It’s important for us that we continue to improve because it’s a relatively new project. We’ve got to maintain that standard and performance level because we have very tough games coming up."
Under Johnson’s stewardship Hibs have drawn with Rangers once, and lost twice, while the Hoops have recorded three victories including a 6-1 win at Parkhead and a 4-0 success in Edinburgh. But the Hibs manager is eagerly anticipating a big week and hopes to take points from three difficult encounters.
“We have a couple of players back from injury and are in good form. [Rangers] is an important one for us. It’s one we feel we’ve got to get closer to the Old Firm in terms of points and wins and performances. We feel good – it’s a great three games with Rangers and Celtic at home and then Hearts away so it doesn’t get bigger than that for us,” he added. “The boys are playing well and feeling confident so we have to maximise the points on offer – but they are all tough games."