By Lewis McKenzie
Born and bred in Edinburgh, Steven Tweed played over 100 times for the team he supported from the stands.
Now, twenty years after departing the club, Tweed has witnessed the Hibees experience a range of highs and lows – perhaps the lowest of which culminated in their relegation from the SPL.
Since the appointment of Alan Stubbs, the Edinburgh side have looked to regain their place at the top of Scottish football, with a League Cup Final and Scottish Cup Quarter Final matches to look forward to.
Tweed, however, says that gaining automatic promotion shouldn’t necessarily be considered by Hibs as a main priority; “The majority of Hibs fans will be looking for promotion, but for me, the Scottish Cup’s always there.
I’d take the Scottish Cup over the league all day long. Maybe it’s just an age thing. Ideally, you’d be selfish and want all three, or to take the Scottish Cup, the League and forgo the League Cup. But for me, the Scottish Cup is the biggest”.
In the title race, Hibs have pushed Rangers all the way this season. But the big question is: Do they have enough in their locker to seal the top spot come the end of the campaign?
“Momentum is a great thing, they can win the league as long as they keep on winning and manage to put the pressure on Rangers every week. Right now however, it’s no longer within our hands, we want Rangers to make a mistake.
Hibs have been excellent at home and it’s been a good season to this point, but we need to get over the line somewhere”.
In the weekend match against Alloa, Hibs made seven changes to their usual starting line-up, although still managed a comfortable 3-0 win.
One such player was John McGinn, a regular starter but only brought on as a sub with around 25 minutes to play. McGinn has been in excellent form this season and with Scotland international matches on the horizon, many have touted him for a call-up to the squad. Although Tweed said that the current position Hibs find themselves in may not be place McGinn in the ideal situation to find that sort of recognition;
“He’s been excellent. He’s been one of the most consistent players. He plays well against the bigger teams, such as St Johnstone and Aberdeen. Although we’re in the Championship now, he may have a better chance of getting international recognition when we’re in the Premier division”.
“A manager has to put faith in the individual in the first place, so the age shouldn’t really matter. Stubbs has built a team that has a decent mixture. He’s brought Thommo back now to add a bit of experience, so from McGinn’s point of view, he has these older pros that have had a good career who he can bounce things off and who can help him”.
Despite the recent impressive showings of players such as McGinn, Tweed was keen to stress that it is no easy task in winning a title and that playing well against teams in higher divisions isn’t enough to bring league success;
“They have a good record this season against Premier League teams. But that won’t win you the Championship. To win the Championship, you have to beat teams like Alloa, Dumbarton, Morton, and they’ll be looking to do that”.