Hibs defend mentality probe - 'you can't legislate for daft goals'

The last thing Hibs want is people to start questioning their mentality. Not when the club have worked so hard to rid themselves of the historical perception of style over substance.

Paul McGinn says Hibs must show they have what it takes to deliver in the big games. Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group
Paul McGinn says Hibs must show they have what it takes to deliver in the big games. Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group

While players and teams of the past have been accused of a flaky inconsistency, since ending the Scottish Cup hoodoo in 2016, gaining promotion the following year and defying the odds to book a place in Europe by finishing fourth in their first season back in the top flight, there has been little to question in that regard.

Last term was a transitional one for everyone at the club, but this season has delivered few signs of character weakness as the side started the season in winning form, grinding out results even when they were slightly off form.

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The only hiccups have come against Aberdeen, Celtic and Hearts and while that has prompted some concern, with fans and manager Jack Ross, who recognise the need to win such head-to-heads if they are to realise their ambitions in the league and cups, full-back Paul McGinn says there is no need to get carried away.

‘You can’t legislate for daft goals’

“Yes, the defeats have come in big games, big moments. But, I’m not sure it is a mental thing, you just can’t legislate for daft goals,” he said in the wake of Friday night’s defeat at Pittodrie, which cost them third place in the standings.

The three goals conceded against Derek McInnes’ side this term were born of individual errors, while gifting Hearts a penalty and missing one at the other end cost them cup progress. It means that rather than plotting Scottish Cup glory and celebrating moving ahead of Celtic, in second place in the league, they end the week in fourth, licking cup wounds.

But, while that cup exit stung, and they are aiming for better, errors are unfortunately “part of the game”, says the experienced McGinn.

“To give those kind of shocking goals away, as we have, that beggars belief and we give ourselves an uphill battle. It is really tough to take.

“But I watched Aberdeen against Motherwell and they did similar that day and you would imagine Motherwell would be one of the teams that finishes up the table. So, it does happen. It is just a sore one for us.

“It was never going to be plain sailing all season but hopefully this proves to be the worst week we have all season and we can get back on track against Dundee.

“Three losses wouldn’t be good enough. We need to go out and get a win. The boys know that and it is quite frustrating that we have to wait until next Sunday. But it gives us time to regroup and I know it’s a boring cliche, but we go again.”

Long way to go

That Betfred Cup meeting at Easter Road gives Hibs the chance to get back to winning ways, before they face a tough return to league action, against defending champions Celtic.

“There is a long way to go so we are not getting caught up in it all,” said McGinn. “We are still in a good position and based on the other results, I don’t think many caught up on us. We have to take it on the chin. There’s no point in dwelling on it.”

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