HIBS moved into the driving seat in the quest for second place in the Championship but manager Alan Stubbs says that while he wants his players to see the job through, he is unsure if it will offer a significant advantage in the play-offs.
“We have always tried to concentrate on ourselves and the fact that the results have gone for us is irrelevant if we don’t do it ourselves next week. We know that we both have difficult games next week.
“I don’t think this changes anything [psychologically] for us. If we finish in second it just gives us an extra few days to recover and prepare the team. If not then it’s just a normal working week.
“There is no evidence to say the team that finishes second has a huge advantage. It has only been going for one year. But I think if you asked me and Stuart [McCall, the Rangers manager] I think we would both want to finish in second – we just don’t know if it will be as much of an advantage as people have made it out to be, although you’d much rather prepare to play four games than six games.”
But with a game against Falkirk, there will be no easy three points. Having never beaten Peter Houston’s side this term, they have to bounce back from the semi-final disappointment against them to give themselves that first round bye.
For Alloa Athletic, the stakes are just as high, although the rewards differ. They dropped into bottom spot after relegation rivals Livingston recorded a 4-0 win over Raith Rovers, but with only one point separating the bottom three sides, they now entertain third-bottom Cowdenbeath in a do-or-die game next weekend.
“It all comes down to next week now,” admitted Alloa boss Danny Lennon. “I have said for the last couple of weeks it is a mini league between ourselves, Livingston and Cowdenbeath and I thought there would be twists and turns each week.
“Only one point separates us all now so there is everything to play for. If we bring the qualities we certainly know we have we’ll give ourselves every opportunity and a better chance of playing in this competitive league next season. I certainly know what we have got to do.”