Michael Weir: Hibs can't afford to give Falkirk hope
Hibs have taken a big stride towards the title by eliminating Dundee United from the race, but we can't get carried away just yet because Falkirk are still a threat.
After going four games without a win, we really needed that victory on Friday to restore our own belief and knock the stuffing out of United. It was a really big result for us.
I wasn’t too confident beforehand but after about ten minutes you could tell Hibs were going to be too strong for Dundee United. In the end, we were convincing winners and should have scored more goals. I don’t think United have got enough about them to come back from it and win the title. Friday was a big game for them and they fell flat. They’ve had their chance.
Falkirk are a different kettle of fish, though. They’ve got the experience of being in this position before. They’ll just keep plugging away and try and make us sweat. But ultimately it’s all down to us. Friday just reassured me that we are the best team in the league but we need to prove that by making sure we chalk every game off with a victory and see out the title.
Six points clear of our main challengers with a game in hand is a strong position to be in, but it’s nowhere near finished yet. I’ve been hearing a lot of people suggesting we’re home and hosed but it’s definitely not over yet. Falkirk will keep plugging away and if they win on Saturday, they’ll fancy their chances of coming to Easter Road and making things difficult for us. If they were to beat us, the pressure would be right back on us, so we can’t take anything for granted.
After doing so well at Tannadice, we need to make sure we don’t slip up against Dumbarton on Saturday. We need to keep that cushion over Falkirk before we play them a week on Saturday. People will expect us to beat Dumbarton on paper, but every game in the run-in is going to be difficult simply because there’s so much at stake. The pressure will be cranked up on the players as we look to get over the line, and that can make any game difficult. We just need to take each game as it comes along and make sure we tick it off successfully. There’s no point in looking ahead and getting hung up on the Falkirk game because that’s how we’ll come unstuck. From now on in, every game is a big game.
The fact we’re going to be without the suspended Jason Cummings makes Saturday’s game that bit more complicated because he has been the difference for us on so many occasions this season. He’s a born goalscorer and we’re lucky to have him because players like that are hard to get. Without his goals, we’d have really struggled at times this season. He gets into good areas and he takes his chances when they come along. His goal on Friday was superbly taken.
Until he’s scoring consistently in the Premiership, there will always be questions about how good he actually is and what level he can go to, but 68 goals is a brilliant return for a 21-year-old. It’ll be a test for him to score as prolifically in the top flight, but he should certainly be proud of the number of goals he’s scored so far.
The red card on Friday was just a case of a young boy making an error of judgment. With youthful enthusiasm, you’ll always get silly moments like his handball. I made mistakes when I was young – we all do. It’s just part of the growing-up process. The key thing is that Jason learns from it. As long as he looks back on it and is able to say ‘what was I thinking doing that?’ then I don’t think we need to be making a big deal of it.
While Jason showed a bit of inexperience on Friday, Efe Ambrose displayed all his experience. The big man was really solid and composed and looks like another really shrewd signing by Neil Lennon. We had lost our composure over the past month or so but we definitely had it back on Friday and Ambrose played a big part in that. He was head and shoulders above anyone else on the pitch. I think he’ll have a vital part to play in getting us over the line in this title race.