Hibs left with mix of frustration and relief as players left fully aware of missed opportunity

Cadden’s former club Motherwell keep Hibees’ top-six hopes alive – now it’s all eyes on Fir Park showdown

Chris Cadden’s “reward” for scoring his first goal of the season was to face the media in the wake of Hibs’ 2-1 defeat by St Johnstone. The Easter Road right-back did not sugar-coat a difficult day for the Hibees, who remain in the hunt for a top-six place only because of Motherwell’s grandstand comeback at Dens Park to defeat Dundee.

With one round of fixtures before the Premiership splits, Dundee occupy sixth place on 39 points with a goal difference of -10. Seventh-placed Hibs are on 38 points with -7, and eighth-placed Motherwell are on 36 points with -5. The Dee can end Hibs’ hopes of leapfrogging them next weekend if they defeat Rangers in their game in hand on Wednesday at Dens Park, otherwise it is down to Saturday’s matches. Dundee face Aberdeen at Pittodrie; Motherwell and Hibs meet at Fir Park.

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This is the third season in a row that Hibs have gone to last week before the split not knowing if they will be in the top six. The league mediocrity is frustrating an increasingly large section of the Easter Road support. Hibs were booed off the pitch after losing 2-1 to the Saints – and Cadden gets the ire.

Hibs' Chris Cadden and St Johnstone's Adama Sidibeh tussle for possession at Easter Road.Hibs' Chris Cadden and St Johnstone's Adama Sidibeh tussle for possession at Easter Road.
Hibs' Chris Cadden and St Johnstone's Adama Sidibeh tussle for possession at Easter Road.

“Of course we understand the supporter reaction,” said Cadden, whose 55th-minute strike was sandwiched between Adama Sidibeh’s opener and then Tony Gallacher’s winner nine minutes from the end. “We’re all frustrated, as well. They want us to do well, they want us to win games. We need to rally and stick together. We know the quality we have in that team. Now we need to show it.”

Up top, Hibs are well-stocked. However, their in-form forward Myziane Maolida missed three good chances, with St Johnstone goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov putting in a man-of-the-match display. It is at the other end that Hibs continue to shoot themselves in the foot. Sidibeh was able to scoot clear past an unaware Rocky Bushiri, while the defending for Gallacher’s goal from a corner was lamentable.

“I’ve not seen them back, but the goals weren’t great,” continued Cadden. “A set-piece goal, as well, any time you lose to a set piece is gutting. We will look at it all. But there is no blame culture here. We look at it together, we win as a team, we lose as a team. We’ll look at what we can do better.”

The only consolation for Hibs is that Cadden’s former club Motherwell rallied from two goals down to defeat Dundee. “We heard about the Dundee result just after the game,” added the 27-year-old. “We know how big next weekend could be now. We know today wasn’t good enough from us. We know that. So now we have to focus on putting things right next weekend – and hoping things go our way.

"I think there is a wee sense of relief that we’re still in it. But it’s mostly disappointment because this was a chance we could have taken, a chance we should have taken. That’s the way I feel, anyway. Maybe later in the week I’ll feel differently. But this was an opportunity missed, really. At home to St Johnstone, you have to be looking to win these games.”



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