For this instalment of 'The View from the Opposition,' we spoke to Gavin from the Hibs Podcast team, HibsTalk. So how long has the HibsTalk Podcast been on the go for?
We started HibsTalk back in May with a Season review. We listened to other Scottish Football Podcast, MFC Podcast is a very good one, took influence from them, put together a structure and are now into the flow of weekly podcasts. The club got back to the Premiership at the third time of asking last season and did so with ease. Were you surprised at the gap you won it by?
No if I'm honest. We mentioned in our Season Review that Alan Stubbs finished behind The Rangers on 70 points, and Neil Lennon finished on 71. Okay, I may have expected United and Falkirk to have a higher points tally, but we drew too many games. It got us over the line though, that's the important thing. The club broke the 12,000 season tickets mark for the first time ever in July which is fantastic to see and as a Hibee, must make you proud to see the fans back the team in these number. Has this figure grown over the past month?
It's been fantastic to see the fans flooding back. As long as we avoid performances like the one against Hamilton, hopefully the walk ups can continue to return and we can average 15k+ this season. That was the last figure I heard yeah. There have been quite a few players that have left this summer but with the likes of Ambrose, Stokes and Swanson signing up, you must feel that you have replaced the departing players with quality and not quantity?
Neil Lennon and Leanne Dempster stuck to their word. Keep the core of the squad together giving new 2 year deals to many players, and adding quality with making Marciano and Ambrose permanent, bringing in Stokes and Swanson who are proven, as well as the likes of Slivka and Murray who look great additions. Overall fantastic window. Simon Murray has banged them in so far but is he the man to fill the void left by Jason Cummings?
Between Murray, Stokes and Swanson from midfield, I believe we can find the net more than we did last season. So yes, Murray will be great, score goals and help fill that void, but I think anyone who says Murray is better than Cummings is off there head. You’ve started the season brightly, making it to the League Cup quarter finals and victories over Partick and Rangers in the league. Last week though, Hamilton grabbed a win which must have busted plenty a coupon around the country. Do you think that this result was maybe a little nudge to the fans that most teams are capable of taking points from each another in the league?
Some fans may have needed to learn to respect other teams more, but I feel the majority of fans are in the know and are aware every team in this league is dangerous and anyone can beat anyone...bar Celtic, they just beat everybody. We know what type of impact that Stokes, Swanson and Murray can have on a game but is there anyone else that has flown under the radar that us Dees should be worried about?
Slivka. He never started against Hamilton after a commanding performance against The Rangers. I feel he'll be back. He's came through at Juventus, had loan spells in Serie B. He's a starter for Lithuania, looks like he can control the game, good pass on him. Excited about him this season. Now that you have that burden of not winning the Scottish Cup in over 100 years (It’s now been passed onto us so thanks for that), what’s the targets for this Hibernian team this season?
Another Cup? I know Livingston well, they will be a tough game but at home we have to be favourites. Celtic have to be beaten eventually so the League Cup/Scottish Cup again and a high finish. I'd like to see us battle with The Rangers and Aberdeen for second but if you offered me fourth, close to them ahead of Hearts, I'd probably take it as a first season back. How would you rate the job Neil Lennon has done for you so far?
Solid. I'm not his biggest fan as a manager, and by that I mean behaviours. I didn't like him at Celtic as a player or as a manager, and I'm not going to change my mind because he's at Hibs. However he's ambitious, he's a winner and he's exactly what the club needs right now. And if he keeps up the job he's doing, you won't find me moaning about him being there. Believe it or not, it’s been just under five years since Hibs last played at Dens. I remember you were top of the league while we were bottom but we managed to win 3-1 that day. You might not be quite top but we’re definitely bottom. Can we see a repeat scoreline? What’s your prediction for this match?
I predicted 2-2 for the weekend on the Podcast, but hope I'm wrong. I feel we need a win to get back on track. However I've seen a few of your games, you create chances, especially with Scott Allan in the team. And it's just a matter of time before they start going in. El Bakhtaoui is a goalscorer, give him confidence and continue to supply him, the net will start to bulge. Plus I feel you've found a real gem in Roarie Deacon. If our defending is a repeat of Saturday, then your strikers will get the time and space to finish those chances. Hopefully for us we improve.
Best of luck to the season. I predicted you guys for 6th so let's hope it's a slow start and your season gets started after the International Break.