Hibernian manager Lee Johnson praised the togetherness of his side as they secured a 4-1 victory over Livingston in the club’s first match since the death of owner Ron Gordon.
Joel Nouble had given Livi an early lead but Hibs got back on track through a double from the in-form Elie Youan.
Jack Fitzwater was sent off for the hosts before Hibs added gloss to the scoreline through a Stephane Omeonga own goal and a Mykola Kukharevych tap-in.
The match began with a minute’s silence while the players wore black armbands and Johnson paid tribute to Gordon on an emotional occasion for the Edinburgh side.
He said: “It was an emotional day and I’m just delighted we got the performance and the result for Ron and the family.
“It was an occasion we can celebrate as a club and it was a fantastic performance from the players but also from the fans.
“I really enjoyed the togetherness and the camaraderie that was shown from the first minute all the way through to the celebrations at the end.”
Hibs had a slow start to the season but they now sit fourth after a third straight win and Johnson says securing European football is the club’s ambition.
He added: “Of course Europe is in our sights. We’ve talked about what we want and we want to deliver regular success.
“This is our opportunity this season to be successful. We’re out of the two cups but the first job is to secure top six and then go from there.
“Sometimes you need to go through the sticky spells. It’s part of our journey. This club is one we have to do up; we’ve got to make better decisions than have been made before.
“I felt there were still signs of performance levels towards the end of the bad run and we’ve won big this year. There’s been some big results.
“The steeliness of the side has probably been bolstered by not just new personnel but returning players as well and the way we’ve turned the dial in terms of our expansive nature.”
Livingston manager David Martindale reflected on a day to forget for his side as they slipped to a fourth straight defeat in all competitions.
Martindale also revealed he was sent off in the closing stages for aiming a gesture at Hibernian goalkeeper David Marshall following Hibs’ fourth goal.
He said: “(David) Marshall asked how long was to go and I shouted back ‘there’s a minute left’ with my middle finger.
“He laughed, I laughed and I got sent off for making an offensive gesture.
“Marshall grabbed me in the tunnel and asked if I got sent off for that. I said ‘yes’ and he said that if I needed him to say anything to please let him know.
“Maybe I let the boys down a wee bit with that. I never done it in that context, it wasn’t in anger. Marshall and I were both laughing.
“The referee said he didn’t want to send me off and I said ‘but you did’. Surely in that context it is not offensive and that must carry a bit of weight.
“I would argue it wasn’t done in an offensive way. It was a bit of banter with Marshall. He laughed, I laughed and that was it.”
When asked whether he would appeal the decision, Martindale replied: “I don’t know. I’ll need to get advice on that.”