Saturday’s game was always likely to be a tricky one for Hibs, straight after the international break, against a Partick Thistle side fighting for their lives, and without John McGinn.
As the manager said, we’ve often had trouble dealing with that type of test, when we’re hot favourites against one of the supposed lesser teams in the division. It looked for a while like we might be in for a frustrating day, but our quality shone through in the end and we finished the game deserved winners. These games, for me, are the type you need to make a habit of winning if you’re serious about challenging at the top of the league.
Most teams get the odd big result on their day, but the best sides are able to win consistently, and that’s what we look to be doing at the moment. We’re in really good form and I feel like we’re finding our stride at the right time of the season because you need to be winning games at the business end if you’re serious about finishing as one of the top teams in the country.
We’ve now got another two games before the split against sides near the bottom so hopefully we can take six points from them. Although I fancy us against anybody at the moment, we need to ensure we remain fully focused for both games. If we can beat both Hamilton and Ross County, we would crank up the pressure on Rangers and also hopefully make ground on Aberdeen, who have a couple of tough away games at Fir Park and Tynecastle this week. We’ve given ourselves a really good opportunity to finish in the top three and possibly even in second place, but we need to make sure we don’t slip up tomorrow or on Saturday.
It was good to see Jamie Maclaren score again – he’s been a great signing for us. He’s just a natural goal-scorer. He’s always busy, buzzing about on the shoulder of the last defender and looking to get in behind at any opportunity. He’s quickly struck up an effective partnership with Florian Kamberi. Anthony Stokes and Simon Murray were both good players in their own right, but Kamberi and Maclaren seem to have clicked better as a pairing and that has been a big factor in our strong form since January.