The Hibs’ players left the field on Monday night to a mixture of boos from the home fans and chants of ‘You’re going down with the Jambos’ from the south stand, but striker James Collins insists that the squad is good enough to avoid the dreaded playoff spot.

Speaking immediately after the game, Collins said: “It’s down to the way you look at it – we are in the bottom six but I don’t think we are really in a relegation battle. We are top of the pile and people are chasing us. The teams below us would rather be in Hibs’ position than theirs, so that’s the way we have got to look at it and move on to St Mirren.

“It’s a tough period right now, not to have won for so long and coming off the back of the derby defeat last week. I t’s not great but the boys are in good spirits and we are looking forward to the next five games, because it’s going to be a big five weeks for us. We’ve got to stand up and be counted now.

“We are in the best position out of the six. We’ve dropped points and teams have caught up with us, but we are confident we are going to easily beat the drop.”

“With Leigh Griffiths doing so well last season, that’s all I heard when I first arrived, but I know Leigh only scored eight goals in his first season here and I’ve got six so far, so maybe it takes time to adapt.”

Meanwhile Terry Butcher bemoaned the bad luck surrounding his team at the moment which saw striker Paul Heffernan injured during the warm up. He said:  “Anything that can go wrong is just going wrong at the moment. We started the first half really well though and they scored against the run of play with a fantastic strike and then we’ve started the second half well and they’ve scored another goal with a great strike. We certainly worked hard but we were playing against a confident team and a team that knows how to play.

“They worked hard tonight, I can’t fault them for that, and they now have a series of games against teams we have already beaten this season”.

“We need to score goals to win games and we aren’t doing that,” Butcher said in the aftermath of the club’s third defeat by Aberdeen this season. “We’ve done well up to the final third, but seem to have erected a glass wall and we can’t get through it, round it or over it.

“Every other team in the bottom six would love to be in our position, we have three of the five games left at home, and we have a slightly better goal difference than the others.

“I am looking at trying to find a blend, a system. We are changing from game to game. It is not conducive to a settled team, no doubt about that. But you are looking to see what you can hold on to in the previous games. And I can’t hold on to a lot.”

Photo by John Preece