Lewis Stevenson: Nobody should be down about Hibs’ start to season
Lewis Stevenson has insisted no-one should be too downhearted with Hibs’ start to the season, pointing out that Paul Heckingbottom’s side have lost just one match in seven.
However, that loss - a 6-1 mauling by Rangers at Ibrox - followed by the need for extra-time to knock Championship outfit Morton out of the Betfred Cup, has led to a few moans among the Easter Road support.
Stevenson himself has been left as nothing more than a fan, a calf injury forcing him out of the early-season action and that, he revealed, has convinced him that the Capital club are not alone in taking some flak.
“When I was injured I was listening to radio stuff and it just seems that Scottish football fans in general are never happy, so we can’t take it too much to heart.”
And, he insisted, tomorrow’s opponents St Johnstone find themselves in a similar situation, Tommy Wright’s side having suffered a dreadful Betfred Cup campaign before being thumped 7-0 by Celtic on the opening day of the Premiership season.
Stevenson, who returned to action in that 5-3 win over Morton, said: “St Johnstone are probably in the same position as us where they have maybe not had the start they wanted.
“But apart from the Rangers game things haven’t been that bad. We got through a tough game against Morton and obviously we didn’t want to concede as many goals and we’d have preferred to play better, but we can’t be too downhearted with our start.
“I am a Hibs fan myself as well, I want the best for the club and it does help when everyone sticks together and we all try to push in the right direction.
“We are all working hard and want what is best for the club as well.”
Having said that, Stevenson conceded that expectations among the Hibs support have risen and, pointing out that St Johnstone have done well at Easter Road recently, he admitted Heckingbottom’s players need to give their season something of a kick-start by improving that record.
He said: “You don’t want to fall into the trap of thinking ‘we will get better’ and then it comes to January and you are still struggling. So we want to get this season up and running and we just need to perform better than we did at times on Saturday. If we do, I’m sure the grumbling will stop.”
Stevenson’s injuries meant he was unable to complete pre-season along with Heckingbottom’s summer arrivals and although he is the club’s longest-serving player, he knows he faces stiff competition and needs to turn in better performances than he did on his return.
“We’ve probably got cover in every position but there have been a few injuries, especially in defence. I’m glad to get fit and get a game under my belt, but there’s competition.
“I didn’t see much of them (the new arrivals) in pre-season because I was in the gym. I watched a few of the league cup games and it was good to see their skills and abilities.
“I’m still getting to grips with them. I’ve only trained with them for the last couple of weeks and I’m learning off them as well.
“They’ve played at a good level in England and it might take some of them a bit of time to get used to Scottish football, but they seem to enjoy it and, fingers crossed, we can have a successful season.”