Alan Stubbs claims the only way Hibs can reach second spot in the league is if Falkirk crumble under the pressure of being favourites to finish runners-up.
The Hibs manager did not waste any time employing his beloved mind-game tactics at the beginning of the final week of the regulation league season, with old foe Peter Houston back in the firing line.
Stubbs has enjoyed sparring with Mark Warburton this season but can put the Rangers manager to the back of his mind until Scottish Cup final week.
More pressing is the need to overhaul second-placed Falkirk, who Hibs can draw level with on points if they win against Dumbarton at Easter Road tonight. However, Hibs are currently seven worse off on goal difference. Stubbs admits the onus is on his side to get goals as well as the maximum six points in their last two games.
“The most important thing is they don’t get hung up on the goal difference when Falkirk have still got a difficult game at the weekend [against Morton],” said Stubbs.
“Goal difference may not come into it. You have to be careful you don’t get too wrapped up in that, because two wins might be enough. But, obviously, we want to try to cover all angles.”
But given they are now the chasers, Stubbs says Hibs, who started the season as strong favourites to finish second, are now the underdogs.
“I honestly believe now that it has flipped,” he said. “The pressure is on Falkirk now, because they are expected to win. They are expected to finish in second place now. If we were to do it, it’s because they’ve failed to get three points. So we’ll just have to wait to see what happens on Sunday, and see how the table lies.
“Whatever happens, we’ll just have to be ready for the third v fourth play-off – or be waiting ten days for it to resume again.”
Defender Liam Fontaine returns to the Hibs squad tonight after injury while Dylan McGeouch, who has been missing since the start of March due to a groin injury and missed the League Cup final defeat by Ross County, could feature this weekend against Queen of the South.