JASON CUMMINGS today challenged Championship leaders Rangers to show they can cope with being beaten for the first time, believing Mark Warburton’s players will now be looking over their shoulders at Hibs.
Alan Stubbs’ side trimmed the Ibrox outfit’s advantage to just five points after a thrilling 2-1 victory at Easter Road yesterday in a match many insisted was a “must win” game for the Capital club if they were to have any hope of taking the title.
And they did exactly that, Cummings claiming his 11th goal of the season – which, according to the 20-year-old, was the best he’s ever scored – before Paul Hanlon powered home a winning header after Lee Wallace’s deflected cross had hauled Rangers level just two minutes into the second half.
Now, claimed Cummings, it will be up to Rangers, who’d gone into yesterday’s clash boasting a perfect record of 33 points from 11 games, to show they can react to a first league defeat of the season.
While head coach Stubbs tried to play down the significance of the victory, insisting it was “just another three points”, Cummings was in a more bullish mood, saying: “It was a massive win for us with Rangers having been on that unbeaten run.
“Now we are going to see how they react to that. We’re only five points behind and they’ll be looking over their shoulders. There’s a question mark over them, what this does to their momentum. They are not a team that knows what it is like to be beaten so it will be good to see how they react now they know we are pushing them every week.”
Cummings admitted he had read “loads” about the league being over if he and his team-mates had been beaten, a view with which he firmly disagreed with, saying: “I heard that a couple of times but I didn’t think that was the case. There would’ve still been a long way to go, a lot of points to play for and anything can happen until the end of the season.”
Hibs have now clocked up a run of 11 games unbeaten themselves and the irrepressible youngster was adamant that, with the strongest squad in his time at Easter Road, Hibs can go on to claim the title and with it the one automatic promotion place.
He said: “We’ve been first class. We have a good squad of players, we’ve got ourselves in a good position and we want to keep it going.
“Five points is nothing, you can claw it back in a couple of weeks and I hope that rattles them a little bit and we keep winning.”
“The belief is there. We have a great set of lads, the manager and coaching staff, and we are capable of winning the league.”