MANUEL Pascali expressed sympathy for Hearts after Kilmarnock chalked up a 4-0 Boxing Day win at Tynecastle, saying he knew what it was like to battle relegation on a weekly basis.
But this afternoon, he expects a different type of challenge when he and his team-mates return to the capital to face Hibs at Easter Road.
“I have been, one time, in the same situation as Hearts where you have to win every single match and it’s not easy because you have got pressure and they are young and they are desperate to score first in every game and, in that situation, when you concede the first goal then you think, ‘here we go again, we’re going to get beat’.
“But [against Hibs] it is going to be a tough match. They beat Ross County 2-0 and we have played so many times against Terry Butcher’s teams so we know what to expect.
“It will be a very, very hard team to beat, they will defend well and be a hard-working team, but for the second time we are talking about making it three games in a row. That is three from the last four. But there is still a lot to do. We are doing well at the moment, defending well, and we know with the players we have, we can score goals.
“So, as soon as we don’t concede stupid goals, as we did in the past, we know what we can do.
“We have quality players and against Hearts we showed that going forward we are very, very adventurous and we want to do the same against Hibs.”
Their recent upturn in fortunes leaves Kilmarnock just four points off a top-six place but Pascali refuses to get carried away. “I don’t want to talk about the top six. We will talk about it if we are still challenging for it in March, maybe February. But now is too early.
“We have Hibs and then St Mirren and then Aberdeen and after those three matches we will see where we are in the table. For now we haven’t done anything, not with 20 matches to go.”