Although I expect Hibs to remain on an upward curve in the long term, I think we have to be braced for the probability that we will have to come through a tricky period in the coming months.
After losing some key men, we are in the process of bedding new players into the team while the season is already up and running. That is not an easy thing to do and I’d be very surprised if it doesn’t have an adverse effect on our form in the short term.
Indeed, I think we saw signs of that in yesterday’s narrow victory over Ross County. I like the look of the players we’ve recruited over the past few weeks, and we saw Daryl Horgan’s quality yesterday, but the fact the majority of them haven’t been with us for pre-season means it will probably take a bit of time for the new boys to find their best form and for the team to gel. It would be great if it all came together instantly, but I suspect we will struggle to replicate the level of consistency we managed in the second half of last season, certainly in the opening months of this campaign.
That is meant as no criticism of the players or manager – it is simply the reality of losing hugely influential players like Dylan McGeouch and John McGinn.
I have no doubt we will come on strong once all the new boys settle in and adapt to how we play, and I have full faith in the manager to ensure everything moves on as smoothly as possible, but I think as supporters we will probably have to show a bit of patience to allow the team to develop.
Given the difficulties we’ve had to overcome, I think we’ve started the season reasonably well. Losing so heavily in the second leg against Molde was obviously hard to take, but overall I think we can take plenty positives from our Europa League run. Considering we’ve spent the start of the season in a state of transition and with a hectic schedule, we’ve got to be pretty happy to be in the quarter-finals of the Betfred Cup and have taken four points from our first two league games.