SCOTT Robertson is determined to prove that things are different at Easter Road after last season’s capitulation, when the players’ bottle was deservedly questioned.
Hibs suffered relegation after an appalling run of form saw them sucked into the danger zone before being beaten over two legs in the Premiership play-off by Hamilton Accies. Now they are the ones trying to go up the play-offs, but successive defeats by Rangers and Raith Rovers at a critical stage of the campaign have risked derailing their bid.
Alan Stubbs’ side entertain Queen of the South this afternoon knowing that a win would put pressure on Rangers, their rivals for second place, prior to the Ibrox side’s clash with Hearts tomorrow afternoon.
But dropped points against Queens, who are themselves pushing to get back into the play-off places, could create a sense of panic among Hibs fans and give credence to claims that Hibs are wilting in the heat of battle all over again. Not that Robertson is wasting any time on the doubters out there.
“Others can question our bottle all they want – it won’t affect me or anyone else at the club,” the 29-year-old midfielder said yesterday. “The manager keeps emphasising that we need to focus on what we need to do and this weekend could be massive in terms of where we’ll finish this season.
“If we can get three points then it will set us up nicely for the last five games. We don’t play Rangers now so we need to rely on others taking points off them to finish in second place and while Hearts probably enjoyed celebrating their title, I’m expecting them to be up for a big game.”
This isn’t the first time Hibs have had to recover from successive defeats. They lost two in a row in August, during an acclimatisation period under Stubbs.
“It was different then because we were still finding a way of playing both in terms of personnel and formation,” added Robertson. “We’ve lost two games in a row and it seems like a blip, but nobody could argue we didn’t deserve to take full points against Raith Rovers last week.
“It shows how far we’ve come that people are making a big deal out of losing a couple on the bounce.”
“When we were on a seven-game winning run we weren’t really bothered what other teams were doing,” he added.
“But when you lose a game you start thinking ‘How did the other teams get on?’ The pressure comes from what we put on ourselves.
“When you play for a club like Hibs there’s pressure in every game but the expectation level is probably greater, certainly more so than it was at the end of last season as we’re trying to be successful rather than avoid a disaster.”
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