Hibs will definitely look on Saturday’s draw with Falkirk as a point gained, and the feeling of joy and relief at not losing ground on Rangers could really spark us for the next run of games.
I’ve been saying all along that both ourselves and Rangers can’t expect to win every week and there will be slip-ups along the way. I think this title race will go the distance with plenty of twists and turns.
Against a good team like Falkirk, there is no shame in not winning, especially when you play half the match with ten men and are down to nine men at the end. Hibs should have been down and out when Falkirk took the lead, but the fact we came back to earn a point in such circumstances underlines the spirit and quality in this team.
Our draw will feel like a win to the players, whereas Rangers’ draw with Morton will feel like a defeat to them. At one stage on Saturday, they’ll have thought they were going to open up a six-point gap on us, which would have been massive psychologically, but the fact it’s still at three after everything Hibs had to come through will mean that everyone at Easter Road will be feeling over the moon.
Although we were relieved at getting a point in the end, we shouldn’t forget that Hibs were actually playing very well with 11 men on the park. When you’re a man down, especially losing a key player like John McGinn, it’s always going to be difficult to stay in the game. I think it’s safe to say we got away with it in terms of sneaking a point and Rangers not winning though.
Mark Oxley will have been just as relieved as McGinn that we got a point after his error gifted Falkirk the lead. Every goalkeeper has these moments occasionally but he’s saved us plenty times this season.
We saw the strength of the squad again on Saturday, with Martin Boyle and Henri Anier coming on to help get us a point, and it is going to take a real collective effort if we are to get promoted. I’m sure we’ll see Adam Eckersley get involved fairly soon as well – for me, he’s exactly the type of experienced character that will be important in helping us cope with the demands of a long, hard promotion race.