At the start of 2017, if someone had offered me the chance to end the year with Hibs sitting fourth in the Premiership, I’d have bitten their hand off.
As a club and a team, we’ve made great strides over the past 12 months and we go into 2018 in good shape.
Yes, it could have been even better for us because there’s no doubt that we’ve let several points slip away by not capitalising on our dominance in certain games, like Saturday’s against Kilmarnock.
But I’ve always been of a mind that we shouldn’t be looking to run before we can walk.
I wrote in the summer that this season was always going to be about re-establishing ourselves in the top flight first and foremost – not necessarily finishing second.
It would have been great if we could have come up from the Championship and finished second in our first season back, but realistically that’s not going to happen given the strength of Aberdeen and the resources available to Rangers. Fourth is a good place to be at this stage, and we also have a nice five-point cushion over an improving Hearts side. As well as trying to keep pace with Aberdeen and Rangers, we also have to be wary after the break of the fact teams like Hearts and Kilmarnock will fancy chasing us down.
Being able to consistently win games like Saturday’s, when we were the team on top, will ultimately determine whether we’re ready to climb into the top three, because as things stand we’re drawing too many games considering how well we’ve been playing.
We’ve still got a bit of work to do before we get to the level we want to be at, but that is a gradual process.
Having found our feet in the division during the first half of the season, hopefully we can come back after the break and be a bit more ruthless in front of goal and start getting the points our play deserves.
I’d like to see a few additions in January because although we have quality in most areas, the squad looks a bit light to me in certain areas.
There’s still a lot of football to be played so it’s impossible to know where we’ll finish but we certainly shouldn’t be downhearted at being fourth at the half-way stage.