There’s never a good time to lose to your fiercest rivals.
However Hibs’ latest defeat to Hearts is likely to linger that little bit longer as a three-week hiatus allows the management team, players and supporters to draw breath and take stock of this latest setback.
As the Easter Road side prepares for some warm winter training in Dubai, it’s time to reflect on what has been a largely disappointing first half of the season.
That said, it hasn’t been all doom and gloom, far from it with victory over Celtic earlier this month the standout result.
However, given Hibs were still in the hunt for second spot right up until the final game of last season, to be sitting eighth in the table at the halfway stage and five points off the top six is disappointing to say the least.
Inconsistency has been
Neil Lennon’s men’s Achilles heel and that is something the manager will hope to address in the second half of the campaign. Lennon will take time out in the riches of Dubai to assess where he goes from here. Hibs will add some new faces to the squad. That is a certainty. The manager has been calling out for some new blood for a considerable time now in the hope of injecting some fresh impetus.
However, due to the form of the likes of Aberdeen, Kilmarnock and St Johnstone, Hibs look to have a real battle on their hands if they have aspirations of replicating last year’s fourth-place finish. Aberdeen, who occupy that spot at the moment, are ten points better off than the men from Leith. It’s going to take an heroic effort to break into that top-four bracket make no mistake about it.
Hibs are now facing a real struggle just to finish in the top six. The visit of League Two outfit Elgin City in the Scottish Cup in three weeks’ time should ease the squad back into things before the Premiership action kicks off again with back-to-back away fixtures at Motherwell and St Mirren.
If Hibs are serious about competing towards the higher echelons of the Premiership come the end of the season then nothing less than six points will do.