Why Hibs star is adamant Lee Johnson's side can beat Aberdeen, Hearts and St Mirren to third place

Hibs have the quality to match the club’s ambition of finishing third in the Scottish Premiership, reckons defender Marijan Cabraja, despite suffering a setback in their 2-1 home loss to St Johnstone on Friday night.

Lee Johnson’s side finished the weekend in fifth place, dropping two places, following wins for Aberdeen and St Mirren on Saturday. After a run of four straight wins, the Easter Road side have now lost their last three, the latest in front of a sell-out crowd having led for 70 minutes before Kyle Magennis was sent off.

Cabraja, however, was “absolutely” adamant and of “no doubt” the team have what it takes to come best of the rest, especially with key players returning from injury.

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“It's painful, it's really painful,” the Croatian said. “This type of game to lose is more painful than the last game (6-1 at Celtic). From this we can only take positives because we played really good. This is not a sprint, the league is not a sprint. It's a marathon and I am absolutely confident if we continue to play like this the results will come in the longer distance.

“I think Kevin Nisbet is close. It's better for the squad, it's better for everyone, pushing each other in training and that's what we are doing. It's a really good squad and third place, I think we can manage it.”

Cabraja felt if Hibs held onto their lead for a few more minutes after Magennis’ sending off, allowing the team to settle with ten men, they would have emerged with the three points which would have consolidated them in third.

“We controlled the game totally and were dangerous, aggressive, attacking mentality,” he said. “It happened. The problem was two minutes after we conceded the goal from a corner. You want to win the game but you can't attack the same. It was really difficult and then the other header, second one. Those games are 1 in 100 that can happen and it happened tonight. It was not good for us but the positives for us is that we were aggressive in the first half, very attacking until the red card.”

Hibs left-back Marijan Cabraja has firm belief in the team finishing third. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

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