Stephen Glass opens up on Hibs spell - but Aberdeen will keep making fist of it
Stephen Glass has particularly keen insight into just how determined Hibs are to secure third place in the Premiership at Pittodrie tonight.
The Aberdeen manager was a player at Easter Road the last time they reached such heights under Tony Mowbray in 2005. Glass was a member of the team that almost blew it – they lost their last three games, including against Aberdeen, and only finished above the Pittodrie side on goal difference.
With Rangers requiring a win on what’s since become known as Helicopter Sunday, and Hibs needing to avoid a heavy defeat, the game petered out somewhat after Nacho Novo’s winning strike just before the hour mark.
A pair of late goals at Fir Park were of immense significance in the title race but Hibs only cared about the outcome at Pittodrie, where Aberdeen could not post the high-scoring victory required v Hearts.
Fast forward 16 years and the same two teams are battling it out for third place again. Like then, Hibs hold the advantage – but a win tonight for Aberdeen could make things very interesting indeed on Saturday, when the league season concludes.
“I know it is a long time since they (Hibs) finished third – I did not realise the last time was when I actually played there!” Glass said. “They know what it means to finish third and will be desperate to get it over the line. They have been sitting in a pretty healthy position for a long time.
“We have managed to make a fist of it and we will continue that tomorrow night. They have some top players and obviously Jack is an experienced manager.
“And they are sitting in a cup final – they will be competing for cup final places and will be hoping to get this wrapped up tomorrow night, I am 100 per cent certain of that.”
His spell at Hibs proved profoundly significant for Glass in terms of his own career. It is where he first entertained realistic notions about becoming a coach and it is also where he first formed a friendship with Scott Brown, his much younger midfield partner.
The pair are of course due to be reunited this summer when Brown joins Aberdeen as player/coach. Although Celtic are in action against St Johnstone tonight, Brown will be sure to tune in for the news from Pittodrie when his game, which kicks-off earlier in the evening, is finished.
Glass made one thing clear – despite his association with Hibs, there are no divided loyalties on his part.
“I hugely enjoyed my time at the club playing for Hibs that year,” he reflected. “I had been back in Scotland for one previous year but I had been injured for a fair bit of it. I managed to play a number of games that year. I was part of a good vibrant team.
“We had a lot of young players who went on to do well,” he added. “I hugely enjoyed my time at the club and it made me think about coaching a little bit deeper. I know what it means to the club there to be third but I also know what it means to be third here. There is no doubt where my loyalties lie.”