ALAN Stubbs believes Hibs supporters still revelling in the euphoria of Saturday’s 4-0 demolition of Rangers have yet to see the best of his team.
The Hibs manager welcomed yesterday’s debt restructuring deal and share issue proposal announcement from the club as a further boost to his ambitions at Easter Road as he tries to plot a route back to the top flight of Scottish football.
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Stubbs described Hibs’ display against Rangers as “close to perfection” but is determined not to let his players rest on their laurels ahead of this Saturday’s derby showdown with Hearts at Tynecastle.
“I have got to say it was very good against Rangers,” said Stubbs. “I do feel as if we can get better, I really do. I want to keep raising the bar because I feel as if the players can do that.
“The disappointing thing for me would be if I wanted to do that, but the players couldn’t get to that level. Then I would be asking too much of them and they would not reach my expectations for them. But I honestly believe there is still room for improvement.
“The derby is going to be a really tough game. Hearts have had a brilliant start to the season. They deserve to be where they are. But I feel that in the two games we have played against them so far, they could have gone either way. There have been moments in those games that could easily have gone in our favour.
“So we completely respect Hearts because they have had the best start to anyone in the division. They have some really good players. Robbie Neilson has done a great job.
“But we’re going to go there and have a right good go at them. We respect them but we certainly don’t fear them because our performances against them should not let us fear them. So it has the makings of a really good game. It’s two teams who want to play the game the right way.
“Hearts have got the league to lose, there’s no denying that. They are 19 points clear of us and 15 ahead of Rangers. But we can only control what we can control and we are going to go there and try to win. If we win the gap will be 16 points. If we don’t, then it will be a monumental ask.”
The off-the-field plans revealed by Hibs yesterday will not affect Stubbs’ budget for the January transfer window but he is already content with his options for strengthening his squad.
“We had our targets and our plans for the transfer window in place before this news,” he said. “That doesn’t affect what we will do in this transfer window.
“Players will come in during the January window and other players will go to give me the opportunity to do that. I have said all along it will be about quality and not quantity.
“I don’t foresee more than three or four players coming in because I have three on their way back from injury. Jordon Forster and Dylan McGeouch are very close and Farid El Alagui will be back at some point in the near future. So if I could add a few, plus them, then I would be very happy with my squad.
“What the board have announced provides a real opportunity for the fans to get behind the club as well as the team. It is a chance to have significant ownership of the club and that is what they have wanted all along.
“Over the past two months, we feel as if we are on the right steps on the pitch. Hopefully this news is the final piece in the jigsaw.
“It is quite a significant day in the club’s history. I think Sir Tom Farmer and everybody else deserves a huge amount of credit. I don’t think there are a lot of clubs who could say they are bank debt free.”
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