For everyone at Hibs, there is so much at stake this afternoon, writes Moira Gordon. As well as the derby bragging rights, there is the chance of claiming another Premiership scalp, a place in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals and the opportunity to keep the dream of a treble alive.
For Anthony Stokes there is even more on offer, according to his team-mate Dylan McGeouch, right.
“That’s a part of what persuaded him to come here, I’m sure. it’s a chance for him to keep people talking about him. There will be a lot of people watching, and we’ll all be looking to do well but he’s got the bit between his teeth to prove the people who have doubted him wrong. Hopefully he can shine for us.”
The January dealings have given the squad fresh impetus and belief as they enter a series of make or break games. Whether cup ties or league matches, any loss could prove unforgiving, which is why having a match- winner in Stokes is proving a boost.
“I’ve known him for a few years and I know the quality he brings,” says the midfielder, who played with the Irishman at Celtic. “He showed that on Tuesday [against Morton] when we just couldn’t get the ball into the back of the net. He came up with the goal and won us the three points. Every team he’s gone to he’s scored goals, not just tap-ins either, his link- up play is great. Gary [Hooper] got a lot of the headlines with the goals he scored the season they played together, for example, but he had a big part to play in that with a lot of assists.
“Everyone knows he’s good, he wouldn’t have been at Celtic as long if he wasn’t, so you’ll find players marking him more than they might have done which leaves space for other players and we have quality all over our squad. He’ll do well playing with the kind of players we have playing in our team.”