IF HIBERNIAN are suffering a crisis of confidence following a desperately poor run of results, someone must have forgotten to tell Tom Taiwo.
Defeat by St Johnstone last weekend finally consigned Terry Butcher’s team to the bottom six of the Premiership, prompting the manager to accept that they had a fight on their hands to ensure they avoid the play-off place. But Taiwo believes they will do that with something to spare, and that they have the quality to hold on to the seventh place they hold at the moment.
“We’re confident we’re the best of the rest,” the midfielder said yesterday. “If you keep on looking down all the time then I don’t think that breeds confidence or a winning mentality. We know we can beat any team in that bottom six, and I’m sure we’ll succeed in finishing seventh.”
When they won the last Edinburgh derby at the turn of the year, Hibs were on a good run of form that looked set to take them into the upper half of the league with something to spare. They have only won once since then, and the fact that many players are out of contract in the summer has led to their commitment being questioned.
But Taiwo insisted that all the squad remain committed, and that those who will be on the way out of Easter Road have a very good reason for continuing to play to the best of their ability – their futures could depend on it. “None of us is good enough to not play well and then command a job at the end of the year if our contracts are up. We all want to be playing, all want to be in the shop window, preferably at Hibs, but if not getting a job somewhere else.”
“There have been a lot of goals conceded from individual errors and you can’t really compensate for that,” he continued when asked to explain the slump in form.
“Against St Johnstone, and Partick Thistle the week before, we had good spells in the game but we didn’t capitalise on that. That’s what we’ve been working on: being prolific in front of goal and cutting out the silly mistakes.”
• Hibs centre-half Paul Hanlon is to have a knee operation shortly and will be out for the rest of the season.