All credit to Neil Lennon and the Hibs players for the way they’ve responded to the sticky spell of a couple of months ago.
After capitulating at Pittodrie in December and then losing at Tynecastle in the Scottish Cup in January, our season could easily have started to unravel, but instead we kicked on again and have effectively secured our place in the top four after Friday’s well-deserved win over Hearts.
I always felt that if we could be strong early on and stand up to Hearts’ physicality, that we’d have enough football ability to win the game, and that proved to be the case after a stuffy first half in which we weren’t able to get any rhythm to our game. Once we got in front, we were well on top.
We were aided by a sensational midfield performance from Dylan McGeouch. That was one of the best, most composed displays from an individual I can recall in an Edinburgh derby. Everything about his game was top notch, and I think that rubs off on his team-mates. I really hope we can get him tied to a new contract because he’s a massive player for us.
There was a lot of background noise in the build-up to the derby with regard to the “natural order” stuff, but the Hibs players didn’t get too wrapped up in that. To me, it looked like they just focused on doing their talking on the pitch. All the talk is entertaining from a supporter’s point of view, but, as players, all that matters is what you do on the pitch.
With the team currently in such good form, we look like we’ve got it within us to overtake Aberdeen and possibly even catch Rangers. We’re looking strong and confident and I think our players are now looking at the way things are going and thinking second place is a realistic target now. They might ultimately fall short, but they are certainly playing with real determination and belief at the moment. The fact we have Neil Lennon as manager gives me real hope that we can push for second over the next two months. He will be right up for the challenge and his desire and will to win should hopefully rub off on the players as we enter the crucial stage of the season.