I look on Saturday’s result as a great point for Hibs rather than two points dropped.
Yes, it was a winnable fixture on paper against a relegation-threatened team, but Ross County are going well at the moment and it’s never easy going to Dingwall. For most of the game, it looked like we were going to finished with nothing, but we’ve ended up making ground on Aberdeen, so we’ve got to be happy. That point could be massive come the end of the season.
If you’d offered Neil Lennon and the players the chance to go into the post-split fixtures three points off second place, they’d have snapped your hand off. They’ve given themselves a huge chance of getting second place, and if they can pull that off in their first season back in the Premiership, that would be a remarkable achievement after three years in the Championship.
Aberdeen and Rangers have a three-point advantage over Hibs, but I don’t see either of them as favourites – ultimately it is going to come down to who handles the last five fixtures best. Every top-six team is going to have a tough run-in but, out of ourselves, Rangers and Aberdeen, we are arguably the team going into it in the best form. As the newly-promoted team and the outsiders of the three, we’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. The pressure is mainly on Aberdeen and Rangers because they finished in the top three last season – we’re the ones trying to upset the apple cart.
But the manager will see this as a great opportunity to reassert himself at the top end of Scottish football, and I feel that could give us an edge. He has lots of experience of winning titles and trophies as a manager in Scotland, whereas Derek McInnes and Graeme Murty don’t really have that, so I feel that could be a crucial factor. I also feel that when we go behind, we seem to be a bit stronger in terms of getting back into games compared to Aberdeen and Rangers.
Although we’re looking up – and rightly so – we also have to be wary that Kilmarnock, who are seven points beneath us with a game in hand, don’t pick us off. They’re flying but I’d fancy us strongly to make sure we finish in the top four at the very least.