The severe fixture congestion facing Hibs in the next 42 days - and how it has come to this

Hibs’ 3-1 victory over Rangers at Hampden Park will live long in the hearts and minds of both the club’s supporters and their players.

By Craig Fowler
Monday, 22nd November 2021, 2:01 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd November 2021, 2:01 pm
Hibs head coach Jack Ross leads the celebrations at full-time after his side bettered Rangers in the Premier Sports Cup semi-final. Picture: SNS

But while it gives the side the welcomed opportunity to win a major piece of silverware for the first time since the 2016 Scottish Cup final, while also banishing the demons of Hampden heartache last term, it does have the affect of making an already troublesome situation even worse with regards to their fixture pile-up.

Over the course of the next 42 days, Hibs will be in action a staggering 12 times. That’s an average of a game every three-and-a-half days. Nine of those will be played in the next 29 days, including the Premier Sports Cup final against Celtic.

December into early January is typically a hectic time on the Scottish Premiership fixture card with the continued existence of the winter break, an idea which somehow remains despite managers bemoaning the demands on their players every year.

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Celtic have as many games as Hibs coming up, though that is partly due to their participation in the Uefa Europa League with two group matches still remaining. The Glasgow giants can at least afford a bigger squad to deal with the demand.

Hibs’ congestion has been worsened not just by their success in the Premier Sports Cup, but also the Covid-19 outbreak which forced them out of action for 24 days and necessitated the rescheduling of away trips to Ross County (whom they’ll play this Wednesday) and Livingston.

In the aftermath of his side’s semi-final victory at Hampden Park on Sunday, won thanks to a famous treble from regular Easter Road hero Martin Boyle, Jack Ross called on the SPFL to intervene and lend the club some assistance over their punishing schedule.

“It would be nice if the SPFL helped us out a little bit in the lead up to the final,” he said. “But I won’t hold my breath in the coming days.

“It’s a showpiece final in Scotland. It should be played between teams who are ready to play. If it doesn’t change, then we’ll deal with it."

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