What a great start to the season for Hibs. There’s a bit of needle with Falkirk, and they’re likely to be one of our main rivals, so to start with a victory there bodes well.
Hibs teams of the past might have lost a late equaliser in a hard-fought game like that, but we showed our resilience to dig out the result. Defending a lead is a vital thing because late lapses can kill teams. Good teams are able to see games out when they’re under the cosh. The manager is clearly adept at shuffling things about a bit in games to help make us more solid when we need to be.
At the other end of the pitch, Jason Cummings picked the perfect game to highlight his value. Getting strikers who guarantee goals the way he does is not easy, and that’s why Hibs are right to stand firm in the face of strong interest from Peterborough. They have made a very good offer for him, but at the same time, if we were to sell him, there’s no guarantees we’d find a replacement who would hit the ground running and score a regular flow of goals. The club deserve real credit for turning the bid down. Cummings, if he stays fit, pretty much guarantees us a minimum of 20 goals this season, and that’s hard to replace at any level. He can sniff a goal out of anything, and those kind of players are invaluable.
From Jason’s perspective, I think he’s still got a lot to learn and there’s no better place for him to do that than at Hibs, where he is playing regularly for a big club with high demands. He clearly recognises that, which is why he will have signed a new contract. I’ve no problem with him moving eventually, but if he was to go to England now, he could end up being left on the bench and stagnating.
After Saturday’s victory, he and his team-mates will be confident of more success at home to Dunfermline on Saturday. If we win that, all of a sudden we can be looking at generating the type of early-season momentum that we were unable to find in each of the previous two seasons.
The Betfred Cup game against Queen of the South is also vital in that regard. Victory in any competition breeds confidence. If you’re constantly winning, it helps create a positive mood.