Jack Ross, manager of Hibs, talked about how his side’s bland second half in the Betfred Cup semifinals meant that their more laudable performance was “a little lost” in the first half of the episode.
Friday, January 29, 2021, 7:00 a.m.
However, after criticizing the character, courage, and ability of his players to deal with adversity, if the dust has settled throughout the season, he can only hope that it doesn’t.
While they are negotiating their toughest line, which has brought only one win, one draw and five losses in the last seven games, it’s easy to forget that until that loss to Rangers on Boxing Day, there were only three losses in their first 26 games this designation.
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They received rave reviews for finding ways to earn points and challenged the top of the league for a quarter of the season before vying for second place with Celtic. If the glass is half full, they will fight for third place with Aberdeen, or if the cup is half empty, they will compete with Livingston for the other qualifying place for the Europa League.
“/>Hibs’s Kevin Nisbet celebrates the goal at the start of the season, but Leith’s side haven’t been on target in recent weeks and need to rediscover this form of goal to revive their league campaign. Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group
Ross has said he doesn’t pay too much attention to other teams, but they, along with his own players, can still make a big difference in how this season is perceived when the curtain falls.
There are still positive results as he proved when he shared stats with his players earlier this week to remind them of the men they once were. The club with the third best defensive record, the third highest goals in the league, a group of players who have garnered praise and attention from international bosses.
However, you will need to familiarize yourself with these players again soon.
Trying to provide context for the recent bad run, Ross pointed out that the playing card had played her twice away in their last six league games against Rangers and Celtic. The hope, he believes, comes from the fact that they now “have a period ahead of them where we believe that if we can do that kind of performance we will be able to score goals and win games again”.
But the performances against Rangers were decent despite the losses and that game at Celtic Park is not included in the losing column, so losses are due to Ross County, Livingston and St. Johnstone.
This poses a problem and suggests that none of the upcoming games can be considered bankers for the start of the season unless the Leith squad dig deep into them to rediscover the caliber of player who found themselves in the first Half of the year has proven capable of winning such games the 2020/21 campaign.
This weekend they will face a team from Dundee United who, after their midweek, will face a team from St. Mirren who are waiting for Hibs a few days later. None of the games will be a gimme.
It was a sole goal of Christian Doidge when Hibs found ways to improve results to separate the Leith side and their Tayside hosts the last time they traveled to Tannadice while the last trip to Paisley was not as accurate Measure serves the way Covid affected Jim Goodwin’s men this week. Ross’s team, a much improved side since then, best beaten them just before Christmas in Leith and are able to do it again, but may not be in their most recent form.
After scoring just three goals in that slump in seven games, they must find the net again if they are to continue taking their preseason goals seriously for Europe and silverware.
Wins and a boost in confidence are crucial if they want to go into their home game with Aberdeen – a team they haven’t even lost a point in their last two games – to challenge them for third place rather than just need an advantage Hunt with Livingston.
Fair or not, too miopian, Aberdeen is one of the teams that Hibs are judged by, and right now they are falling short.
But if the fans are looking to triumph over the Pittodrie side alongside Rangers and Celtic, they are dying to expect them to prevail against Ross County, who will welcome them back to Dingwall before mid-February.
When Hibs traveled north in October, they won a point, but a more clinical finishing could have converted that into three points, although this could definitely also apply to the Highlanders, who proved this a few weeks ago on Easter Road and insulted their status as a relegation fighter to humiliate a below average Hibs team.
After that, Motherwell and then Betfred Cup waits at St. Johnstone before Livingston can be vital on the road to separation.
In the second half in Hampden, this below-average Hibs team reappeared. One side with little bark and nowhere near enough bite, but Ross rightly believes there is still hope of a turnaround.
There have been indications that they were as fluid and positive in possession in the first half of the semifinals as they have been since 2020. But the problem remains the target, and the main concern now has to be how Kevin Nisbet comes back on the goal path or find a way To fill in the void he left
If they can, this season doesn’t have to come to a conclusion full of regrets and accusations. But in a league where things have become very hard work, they have to regain shape or risk all of the hard work at the beginning of the year being overlooked like their first half at the National Stadium.