The victory at Falkirk was Hibs’ most important of the season so far.
Falkirk is a difficult place to go at the best of times, but the team were under extra pressure after being knocked off top spot and coming in for a bit of criticism over their recent form.
Even if we’d drawn the game, there would have been questions asked as that would have meant we’d gone three games without a win and missed the chance to capitalise on Dundee United’s slip-up at Dumbarton. But that late Kris Commons thunderbolt has changed everything ahead of Friday’s top-of-the-table clash at Easter Road.
It’s eased the pressure and lifted the gloom and will hopefully give the players the confidence they need to try and get back on track in the weeks and months ahead. The manager will be relieved because if you can win at a place like Falkirk when your back’s against the wall, it says a lot about the team’s character. If we’d have slipped up on Saturday, it would have let United off the hook and given them a lift. Instead, we’ve shown them that we’re not about to wilt under the pressure.
If we can beat United on Friday, that would give us a four-point advantage and a chance to finally start kicking on, so it’s another massive game for us. It won’t be straightforward for us. Dumbarton have made it hard for plenty good teams – ourselves included – in recent seasons so United’s defeat is not as bad as it looks on paper. They will be fired up to bounce back and will still have plenty confidence about them.
If we do win on Friday, it doesn’t mean we’re guaranteed to kick on and win the league, but there will certainly be a lot more optimism about the club than there has been in recent weeks.
We also have Jason Cummings getting among the goals again, which is a positive sign as he is obviously a man who scores regularly when he’s in the zone. Commons showed his quality with his assist and his goal, and he’ll be getting fitter and sharper with every game he plays, while we have big players due back from injury soon.
What a difference a big win can make – everything suddenly looks a lot rosier.