Even allowing for Hibs’ recent poor form, I didn’t think for a minute that we would lose at Alloa.
You expect that a team who have just been relegated will be a bit flat and that a team of our quality should be able to go there and turn them over.
To lose there is a terrible result for us and it’s left us at our lowest ebb of the season. There’s no particular reason for our slump, but I definitely think complacency has crept in to the league form because of how well we’ve been doing in the cups.
Due to all the plaudits they were getting, I think the players have allowed themselves to think the league would just take care of itself. They’ve definitely got the ability to beat teams like Alloa and Dumbarton, so the fact they’re not winning these games suggests they’ve taken their foot off the gas. As a result we’ve lost the winning mentality we had earlier in the season and we seem to have, in turn, lost our confidence.
It’s a real worry because getting through the play-offs will take a huge effort. Falkirk and Raith Rovers are not just going to lie down and let us walk all over them. And neither is a Premiership team who will be fighting for their lives. It’s our own fault we’re in this predicament though because we should have kept our eye on the priority, which was always winning promotion.
Everybody at the club has to be feeling the heat, including the manager. Alan Stubbs is coming under fire from some Hibs supporters, but I certainly won’t be joining in any calls for his head. He’s brought some much-needed life back to the club, but you can’t expect it all to be plain sailing. I’m sure when we look back in months or years to come, this two-month patch will be as bad as it gets for Alan. He’s a relatively inexperienced manager, but he’s not suddenly gone from being a good one to a bad one in two months. Right now, though, he and his players have to try to keep their heads and ride out the storm.
There are always testing periods for players and managers, and this period is the ultimate test for this group. Hopefully the two massive games against Falkirk and Dundee United this week can spark them back into life and restore some optimism.