Why Hibernian can push for Europe this season
Founded in 1875 Edinburgh-based Hibernian FC will not be playing European football this season due to a poor league position. You have to go back to the 2004-2005 season to find when Hibees last finished in the top 3 of Scotland’s top division. We look at 3 different areas that might see them push for European qualification this season.
Hibs have been active early in the Scottish transfer window announcing 3 key signings.
Skilful winger Drey Wright, the former St Johnstone player signed on a free transfer and the Leith faithful will be hoping he can find his form after missing a lot of last season through injury.
The second signing is regarded as one of the best young players in the country and that man is young striker Kevin Nisbet. The 23-year-old signed from Scottish Championship side Dunfermline for an undisclosed fee. He scored an impressive 18 goals last season in the league and it was no surprise that a top tier side came in for him. Many Hibs fans are very excited to watch him play at Easter road.
Their third signing so far in this transfer window is the Cyprian centre back Alex Gogic, the 6”1# defender may yet provide to be a rock at the back for the Scottish Cup semi-finalists.
This is an encouraging start to the window and with a few more signings this team could definitely challenge for Europe. Jack Ross clearly wants to keep improving his team and he is moving in the right direction to do this.
The former Sunderland manager joined Hibs in November 2019 just one month after being released by Sunderland. This upcoming season will be his first full season in charge and with previous success with St Mirren where he led the Saints to the Ladbrokes Championship league title, the fans are hoping he can bring success to Easter Road.
We’ve already looked at his transfers and it’s clear Ross has a vision for Hibs. Before the abrupt end to the season, he had led Hibernian into 6th position just 2 points off of 5th placed Livingston and not too far behind 3rd placed Motherwell. Had they found a good run of form towards the end of the season they could well have made a push for Europe.
The league wasn’t the only way to get to Europe as Jack Ross had taken them to a Scottish Cup semi-final against bitter rivals Hearts at Hampden with this game still to be played.
The fans have been very pleased with his transfer business so far and are looking forward to more of the same and hope that he can bring silverware to the Scottish capital.
As of writing this Jack Ross won his first game in the 2020/21 season when Martin Boyle scored a brace at Easter Road to overcome Kilmarnock 2-1, also in this game debutant, Kevin Nisbet got his first assist for the Hibees and his first goal won’t be too far away either.
No Edinburgh Derby
As everyone knows Hearts were sitting bottom of the league when it came to a stop and when writing this they lost a legal battle with the SFA and have been relegated to the Ladbrokes Championship meaning the only way these two sides can play each other is through either the Betfred cup or the Scottish cup.
As Hearts have been relegated there will be no Edinburgh derby between the two sides next season which will take away some big days in the league. However looking at last season’s results against the Jambos, Hibs only managed to beat them one time out of three matches played in the league. With no derby, Hibernian would not feel the pressure to beat such a big rival.
Of course, it would be less exciting but the team may benefit from not playing Hearts and may help get better results when playing teams they don’t share a rivalry with.