Meanwhile, his star midfielder, Scott Allan, said that, despite still being 19 points behind in the Championship race, his team had to believe they could still overhaul Hearts, who they play on Saturday.
bit tiring saying the same thing – that it’s unacceptable. The team is suffering from a severe lack of confidence.”
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The 4-0 win was Hibs’ biggest over Rangers since they scored five without reply in 1912. “I have told the lads to enjoy the performance,” said Stubbs, “because big results like that don’t come around that often.
“But they have to enjoy it the right way and that is by not drinking. I’ve told them I don’t want to see any of them out. I may, if they get a result at Tynecastle, allow them to enjoy that one a bit more. But they certainly won’t be out tonight.”
Stubbs was asked if this was the “perfect performance” he’d been seeking from the team in his pre-match address. He started by saying it wasn’t, not quite, but then seemed to re-appraise. “It wasn’t perfect. It was close to perfection. I think as a manager you’re always striving for the perfect performance. If that wasn’t perfect, I would like to see one that was.
“We started the game well. It’s always nice when you manage to get an early goal, but when you go two up in 12 minutes it doesn’t get any better. I thought we were dominant from first whistle to last. I thought our goals were great. I thought we passed with a purpose and when we had to put our bodies on the line we did that. We were clever, intelligent and as close to a complete performance in my time as a manager.”
Stubbs was especially pleased for the players who’d experienced relegation last season. They should take great encouragement from their performances in the thumping win, he said, and from the acclaim of the fans. “I think they’ve probably not been part of an atmosphere where the fans have really backed the team the way they did today. That’s what I’m trying to bring back. I think the fans can see a team who’re really giving their all and playing football in what I perceive to be the right way.”
But Hibs hadn’t achieved anything yet. “Hearts are a very good team who deserve to be where they are. They’re the best in the league at this moment of time.” Did he want yesterday’s game to have been the playoffs? “No, because I think we can get better.”
Allan, who had a big hand in three of the goals, described the victory as “a wee bit special”. Could Hibs yet take the title? “We’ve got to think that as footballers. Our last few results have been good and hopefully we can add to them next week.”
For Rangers, Kenny Miller, an ex-Hibee, was generous in his praise of the winners. “I thought they were outstanding again,” he said. “That’s three times we’ve played them this season and they’ve really got our number. It’s getting a
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