I thought Hibs deserved something from Saturday’s game, especially for our second-half performance, but we were up against a resilient Aberdeen side who know how to win games at this level.
They know how to defend strongly and hit on the break when they have to. They’ve been the second best team in the country for the past few years so, although I felt we were a bit unlucky not to take at least a point, we can’t get too down on ourselves.
I was pleased that we kept playing our football and didn’t become too desperate and start going long all the time. Ultimately we didn’t get the result we wanted in the end, but I think the players and the manager can take positives from the performance going into another couple of huge games against Celtic and Hearts.
We’ve now got a League Cup semi-final against Celtic to look forward to at Hampden this weekend and the prospect of a big game like that will ensure no-one at Hibs stews too long over Saturday’s defeat. The performance we produced in the 2-2 draw at Celtic Park a couple of weeks ago, when we were unfortunate not to come away with three points, should ensure we go into the semi-final in confident mood, but Celtic will probably have their big-hitters, like Scott Brown, back for this game, which will make it that bit tougher. I expect us to have to deal with a different animal this time, but, by the same token, Celtic will be coming off an energy-sapping Champions League game in Munich and they will also be aware that we’re a decent side who can cause them problems.
As underdogs, our players can relax, go and enjoy the occasion, give it their all and try and get to another final. We’ve been to Hampden plenty times in the recent past so the players won’t be daunted by it. I think they’ll relish it and I believe we’ve got a real chance of causing an upset. If we could get past Celtic and end their unbeaten run, it would set us up perfectly for the Hearts game next week. We’re in the midst of a really intense run of fixtures at the minute and it’ll test how strong our squad is, but I’m confident we can handle it.