Having all but secured a top six spot, Hibs should no longer be looking over their shoulder. They’re continuing to thrive under Paul Heckingbottom, having taken 10 points from a potential 12 in the Premiership. Just seven points off third placed Aberdeen, the Dons are closer to Hibs than they are to second-placed Rangers.
Can Heckingbottom’s side defy all the odds and clinch a European spot?
Change in the dugout = change in direction
The new manager has now won as many games in his first six in charge at Hibernian as he did in 16 at Leeds United. The manager has also led Hibs to more wins in his first five league games as they had managed in the entirety of their previous 17. They’re certainly a club that are feeling the full benefits of a managerial change.
Their January recruits have a lot to do with the climb that the Cabbage have taken since the turn of the year. Whilst most arrived before Heckingbottom, it is testament to the manager that he appears to be getting the very best out of them.
Marc McNulty, in particular, has proved to be a shrewd piece of business. Tied already on league goals with Stevie Mallan and Oli Shaw (6), he’s only two behind Florian Kamberi (8). Averaging a goal per 80 mins is superb and if he can maintain that form, he’s probably the greatest weapon in Hibernian’s arsenal.
Stephane Omeonga is also proving to be a real fans’ favourite in the middle of the park. However, they’re still yet to see the best of Ryan Gauld. If he and the likes of Mallan and Daryl Horgan can continue to provide for McNulty then a European spot certainly shouldn’t be beyond Hibs.
What’s to come
Three tricky fixtures await Hibs after the international break. Livingston away, Kilmarnock at home and Hearts away all come prior to the split. If they can continue to pick up points in these fixtures, and rob a few points off fellow top six teams, then you just never know where Hibs will end up this season.