'They're looking over their shoulder' - Former Hibs midfielder reveals fears over relegation battle

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Former Hibs midfielder Kevin Thomson fears his former club are already locked in a relegation battle after their 3-0 defeat by Hearts in the Edinburgh derby marked a ninth loss in 11 matches.

A first-half double from Lawrence Shankland put the hosts in the driving seat and substitute Stephen Humphrys added a third in injury time. Speaking to Sky Sports, Thomson – who twice tasted victory in Gorgie in a Hibs shirt – branded Hibs ‘passive and poor’ in the first 45 minutes, adding that it had been a ‘disappointing result’ for his old team.

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"Robbie Neilson and Hearts have put together a good squad, minus some big players as well. They’ve had a lot of bad luck with injuries which has been well documented but I thought they were really comfortable. Hibs had a wee bit of a go in the second half but what does that mean? You go to Tynecastle and you’re playing your arch-rivals, everyone would expect you to have a go,” Thomson continued.

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Kevin Thomson has experience of beating Hearts at Tynecastle from a Hibs perspectiveKevin Thomson has experience of beating Hearts at Tynecastle from a Hibs perspective
Kevin Thomson has experience of beating Hearts at Tynecastle from a Hibs perspective

"Lee Johnson has a big job on his hands – he’s talked the talk but there’s a wee bit of unrest, a wee bit of grumbling from Hibs fans. They want to see a team performing, there’s a big game against Motherwell next week so the pressure is on."

Asked about Johnson’s claims that it was difficult making progress with three managers’ players, former Kelty Hearts boss Thomson suggested that a busy summer window and pre-season should leave any club in a better position than the one Hibs currently occupy.

"Anyone who gets an opportunity with a pre-season and a summer transfer window and gets to January with a team that looks how Hibs look… a lot of people would question some of the things he’s been saying. When you represent a big club, the pressure comes. With the run of results they’ve had and their league position, a lot of fans feel they’re in a relegation battle and they are; they’re looking over their shoulder.

"I think there was a stage when they went third after beating St Mirren and since then it’s been a tumble down the league. When the opposite side of the city is doing well it brings more attention and more pressure so Motherwell’s huge for Hibs, make no bones about it.”

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