Alan Stubbs believes “no relevance” should be attached to Hibs beating Rangers, with the teams due to meet in the Scottish Cup final a month today.
Last night’s win was vital for Hibs in terms of their play-off ambitions, with the Easter Road side desperate to reclaim second place from Falkirk.
Last night’s 3-2 win takes Hibs to within three points of Peter Houston’s side, and with a game in hand. The runners-up spot means playing two fewer play-off matches, an important consideration given Hibs’ cup final commitments.
“For us it was just about three points, there was no relevance other than that,” said Stubbs, who also batted away speculation linking him with the soon-to-become vacant manager’s post at former club Celtic. “Where we are, we are aiming towards finishing as high as we can. You could see from the team Mark [Warburton] put out how much he wanted to win the game.
“This was a league game,” the Hibs manager added. “In a month’s time it is a cup final. There’s no relevance. Over the course of the season the two teams have played each other in the league four times, and they’ve both won both their home games, so that says it all.”
Hibs went 2-0 up through Jason Cummings and an own goal by Rangers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham, after Anthony Stokes’ cross. The visitors pulled a goal back before half-time through Jason Holt, before Hibs’ Norwegian defender Niklas Gunnarsson restored Hibs’ two-goal lead after 57 minutes.
Barrie McKay pulled another goal back for Rangers with six minutes left but Hibs saw out the game to secure the three points they so desperately needed. “It certainly helps,” said Stubbs, whose side travel to face Morton on Saturday. “Three games to go, it keeps it alive. We wanted to get maximum points from our last four league games, we are a quarter of the way there.”
Stubbs has quickly emerged as one of the candidates to succeed Ronny Deila, whose end-of-season departure has been announced by Celtic. “It is not a relevant question to be asking now,” he said. “I am just really sorry for Ronny. He seems a really nice guy. I am disappointed for him more than anything. I have enough to think about between now and 24 May to keep me occupied.”