The crammed December fixture schedule in which Hibs will play eight games will, I believe, define our season. It’s a crucial period and Neil Lennon and his players go into it desperate for a win, however they can get it.
Recent results haven’t been anywhere near good enough, but everyone would have been expecting that poor run to end when we took on Dundee, the Premiership’s bottom team, at the weekend.
There’s no doubt we should have won. When you are 2-0 up at home against a team in Dundee’s position with half-time only seconds away then there’s no excuse for not going on to take the three points.
However, I know from my own experiences in the game that coming up against teams that have been struggling is always a tricky proposition and, to be fair, our own form hasn’t been great in recent weeks.
Confidence is a big thing in football and I think you could see that when Dundee pulled it back to 2-1 but players have to learn to deal with that pressure and perhaps a few of them are learning that the level of expectation at a club like Hibs is greater than they’ve maybe experienced elsewhere.
But when you haven’t won in four or five games you have to take a chance like Saturday to get the result which can often act as a spark and lead further victories.
When you are 2-0 up you need to close games out, not give the opposition a sniff of a chance to get back into the match but there’s no doubt Dundee got a lift from their first goal and then caught us cold at the start of the second half.
I feel at times we are just too open and can look a bit vulnerable. We have plenty of forward-going players, and the supporters, having seen things go so well over the course of the last couple of seasons, maybe expect us to play teams off the park. Dundee capitalised on that.
There’s no divine right for any side, no matter who they are, to win games. Sometimes when you are going through the sort of spell we are experiencing at the moment you need to be pragmatic, dig in and just get that win no matter what.
We all like to see the team playing the free-flowing football we’ve seen at times this season but now it’s all about getting that win, whether that means a change in formation, personnel or perhaps a different style of play.
There is a danger of becoming predictable and when that happens opposition teams suss you out and set up to make things difficult.