Michael Weir: Lack of guile was critical

Alan Stubbs deserves huge credit for getting Hibs so close
Alan Stubbs deserves huge credit for getting Hibs so close
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What an anti-climax to a season that, just a couple of weeks ago, promised so much hope and expectation.

The reality is that we have failed in our quest to rejoin Scotland’s top flight which is extremely difficult to accept at this moment in time.

I feel the damage was done last Wednesday night at Ibrox as we failed to capitalise on the early pressure we asserted on Rangers.

The goals we conceded were certainly avoidable and that gave us a mountain to climb at Easter Road on Saturday.

Trying to overhaul a two-goal deficit was always going to be an arduous task and so that proved to be the case. Saturday’s match turned out to be much of the same as Wednesday, enjoying plenty of possession but lacking that natural instinct in front of goal.

I believe our inexperience in those vital areas of the pitch has seen our season come to end. There is little doubt we have an array of talented young pros within the squad who will go on to enhance their careers further but, at this stage, they lack that cutting edge when the going gets tough.

It is no coincidence that both Rangers and champions Hearts have several experienced campaigners in their ranks and that has, ultimately, paid dividends for our two rivals.

That said, there have been steady improvements made at the club this year. We have managed to display a far more attractive brand of football to the supporters from what we’ve had to endure in recent seasons and Alan Stubbs must take credit for that.

We have arguably been the most attractive side to watch this season but, unfortunately, points are not awarded for flair and style. In this business, it is all about winning football matches.

The manager has had to conduct his business at the lower end of the market once again and managed to prize one or two who look to have a promising future in the game if they are willing to put the hours in. Stubbs walked into a real desperate situation before a ball was kicked and came within two games of sealing a quick return to the Premiership.

I appreciate every club has to work within an affordable budget but for a club of Hibs’ stature, this must be reviewed over the summer.

I am sure if the manager had been able to add a few more quality additions to his squad then we wouldn’t be bracing ourselves for another season of Championship football. Having to rely on so many newcomers to deliver performances week in, week out was a gamble that ultimately hasn’t paid off.

There doesn’t appear to be much in the way of change in how the club’s hierarchy conduct themselves within the transfer market.

We have no divine right to pitch ourselves as one of Scotland’s top clubs if this philosophy is to continue.

There have been so many disappointments for the club’s supporters to contend with over the past few years and another year without Premiership football just adds to that. The lack of investment is now beginning to take its toll and this is exemplified by our failure to defeat one of the worst Rangers teams I can recall.

In times gone by, the club would always be able to bring in one or two new additions that would really get the supporters’ tails up but sadly those days seem to have gone.