I’m excited about the season ahead, especially after the Scottish Cup win and the amount of season-tickets we’ve sold. There’s a real buzz about Hibs just now and I’m looking forward to seeing what the new manager will bring.
The supporters are right behind the club again, so we need to make sure we capitalise on that feelgood factor and get ourselves back into the Premiership. There can be no excuses this time.
This is definitely the best chance we’ve had because there’s no Rangers or Hearts in the league. It’ll still be a tough league – the likes of Falkirk, Dundee United and Dunfermline won’t make it easy for us. We should have enough about us to win it, but I’m certainly not looking at it as a foregone conclusion. We’re the big scalp in the league and everyone knows there is pressure on us to make sure we get up this season.
I’m pretty happy with the way the squad is looking because we’ve still got the guts of the group that won the Scottish Cup, the likes of John McGinn, Jason Cummings and Dylan McGeouch are a year more experienced, and Neil Lennon’s added a bit of experience to the attack with Grant Holt, which will take the weight off Jason.
We need to show that we’ve learned lessons from the past two seasons, especially in terms of the way we start the season. We’ve started slowly in the last two years and that’s killed us. It’s vital we go off quickly this year. The last thing we need is an early defeat to take the wind out of the fans’ sails.
If we make a strong start, the supporters will react to that and the crowds will continue to increase. We need to try and do what Hearts and Rangers have done over the last two years. We’ve had too many silly slip-ups over the last two seasons – we need to cut all that out and play like a team who mean business.
We couldn’t have asked for a harder start, away to Falkirk, but if we win that one, it’ll send out a real message of intent because they’re expected to be one of our main challengers.
This season is all about being as consistent as possible and making sure we’re in the Premiership in a year’s time.