Why Hibs not making third 'wouldn't be a disaster', according to Joe Newell

The hunt for third isn’t quite over yet but Hibs midfielder Joe Newell accepts that the Easter Road side needs an awful lot of things to fall into place to have hope of snatching the best-of-the-rest spot from under Aberdeen’s noses.

Hibs and the Dons played out an entertaining goalless draw on Saturday, with Kevin Nisbet seeing a 79th-minute penalty saved by home ‘keeper Kelle Roos, but Hearts scoring an even later penalty of their own to draw 2-2 with St Mirren keeps the race alive for the remaining three matches of the season – with the possibility that there could be so much to play for on the final day, when Hibs make the short hop across town to face Steven Naismith’s side at Tynecastle.

Speaking after the stalemate in the Granite City, Newell insisted not finishing third wouldn’t be a disaster.

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“Even if we don’t get third, it’s still a good sign going into next year. The style of play, the players we’ve got, and the culture at the club… everything is going in the right direction. It has been very up and down this year, it’s taken a long time, but I’m not saying we’re the finished article yet. There will be lots of changes in the summer but we’re happy with the way we’re playing,” he reasoned.

Joe Newell insists Hibs want to finish as high up the table as they canJoe Newell insists Hibs want to finish as high up the table as they can
Joe Newell insists Hibs want to finish as high up the table as they can

Hibs face a home double-header against Rangers and Celtic before the final-day derby, and whether it’s shooting for third, or trying to consolidate fourth, it’s all about the best result possible – on the day and for the season as a whole.

“We’ve got three big cup finals left, it’s huge. We’re playing Rangers on home at Sunday in front of the TV cameras and we’ll back ourselves 100 per cent. We’ve had some good performances against them in the last few years so that’s one we’ll all be well up for. After a good few performances we’ll be in full confidence,” Newell added.

“We just want to finish as high as we can. There are three games left, two of them at home, and they’ll be massive occasions with the fans there in their numbers and hopefully we can put a show on for them and go to Tynecastle with some hope of finishing as high as we can. That’s the aim, really.”