The 3-1 defeat away at Dundee on Tuesday encapsulated the whole campaign: some fleeting of moments of quality lost in a sea of mediocrity. Bottom-six football was not the plan back on August 1 when they started off with a win at Motherwell but 36 matches and two managers later, rudderless Hibs have fallen from grace after finishing third last season. There are too many people under-performing at Easter Road as the search for yet another new boss continues.
Young Josh Doig was admirably honest when assessing where the squad are after they became the first team to lose to Mark McGhee’s Dees. “It wasn’t good enough and, collectively as a team, we know that – short and simple,” the 19-year-old said. “We competed in the first half but once we conceded the second goal we fell to pieces.
“We can’t be seen to have gone on our holidays early, but we took our foot off the pedal against Dundee.
“We are a young squad, but you still have to take responsibility. It’s a game of football and you have to want to win.”
Hibs fans are not particularly enamoured with their team right now. Granted, the group has been ravaged by injury, but too many players are not hitting their top gear. One match remains, against St Johnstone on Sunday, and Doig knows that they have to sign off on a higher note.
“We have a game on Sunday now and we have to bring the respect back,” continued the teenage defender.
“We have to use it on Sunday, it’s got to hurt us and we have to use it to put in a better performance.
“We are all professionals and you can’t hide behind excuses. We all have to take responsibility for what happened.”
By the weekend, the name of the new manager may well be known. Lee Johnson has emerged as the frontrunner. Doig isn’t using the current state of flux as an excuse, however.
“Irrespective of the manager, we have to look at ourselves because the next season is only a few months away,” he added.
“We have to prepare ourselves for that now. It’s going to be a long road but we have to do it.”