Hughes urges Hibs to regain their spark

HIBS boss John Hughes has urged his players to get back to winning ways as quickly as possible in the SPL and keep alive their dream of bringing European football back to Easter Road next season.

Since seeing their unbeaten 12-match run come to an end with a home defeat at the hands of league leaders Rangers last month, Hibs have drawn at home to Hearts and lost to Dundee United at Tannadice.

As a result, they've dropped to fourth in the table, a point behind United, although the Easter Road side have a game in hand – a trip to McDiarmid Park to face St Johnstone.

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While pleased with the effort he's still getting from his players, Hughes reckons they've not performed as well in recent weeks as they had been earlier in the season and is hoping the spark will be back when Hamilton Accies make the journey to Easter Road on Saturday.

"It is a test of character for us now," said the Hibs manager. "We've got a big prize to play for, hopefully a European spot, and we've got to make sure we don't let that opportunity slip from our grasp by going out and performing.

"We've been a bit off in the last couple of weeks and it's a case of getting back to what we were doing earlier in the season.

"We can't win every game, I know that, but we've set our standards and we need to get back to what we were doing.

"We need to work hard, starting from the front and then all the way through to the back.

"It is not down to a lack of effort or commitment from the boys.

"They've been fantastic and we've had a great response from them.

"The players know the standards we expect and we will get there again, hopefully."